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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Anorexia girl's US clinic hope
Annie Jones
Annie cannot eat and retain food
A British mother is hoping a United States clinic can save her four-year-old daughter from what appears to be childhood anorexia.

Annie Jones is painfully underweight as a result of an inability to eat and retain food which began when she was just three months old.

Her mother Lisa wants to take her for a 40-day course of treatment in a specialist centre in Baltimore, where medical experts will embark on an intensive feeding programme to help her discover an appetite.

Mrs Jones says the US clinic, which has an 86% success rate with this illness, is the only place equipped to get Annie eating again.


It would be nice to see her eat a full packet of sweets and ask for another

Annie's mother, Lisa Jones

Despite visits to Britain's top London children's hospital, Great Ormond Street, doctors have been unable to find a solution to the Normanby Primary School pupil's eating problem.

Annie, who weighs 1st 8lb - about half what she should weigh - has to spend every night in her mother's double bed at her home in Normanby, near Middlesbrough.

'Very shy'

As she sleeps, her mother operates a complex drip-feeding machine which pumps a vitamin-enriched compound through a tube permanently inserted in her daughter's stomach to keep her alive through the night.

Mrs Jones, 31, said: "Annie is very intelligent, but she's very shy, very quiet. She's bubbly with me and people she trusts but she's very quiet with others.

"She tries her hardest to be normal. But I had to move in with my parents because it is too stressful on my own.

"I just worry she is not living the life of a normal child with her own bedroom. I am just thinking of her health - that's more important at this time."

Fundraising efforts

The single mother has been forced to give up her job as a project secretary for an oil and gas company to become full-time carer for her only child.

Mrs Jones says she must raise 80,000 to pay for herself and her daughter to travel to the Kennedy Kliger Institute in Baltimore.

She added: "It would be nice to see her eat a full packet of sweets and ask for another."

So far 5,000 has been raised for the Annie Jones fund.


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04 Dec 01 | Health
02 Sep 01 | Entertainment
09 Aug 01 | Health
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