My mum’s starving herself to death

Anne Todd (s)
Anne Todd (s)
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A desperate Pendle daughter said she fears her poorly mum will starve to death if she does not get help soon.

Jackie Nelson issued this shocking photograph of her Burnley mother Anne Todd (71), who is refusing to eat, admitting she feels she has nowhere to turn.

She said she has made numerous attempts to get help from her GP, social services and the community mental health team but has been unsuccessful.

“We are in 2014. In this day and age people should not be starving to death. She wouldn’t look out of place in Belsen. I am at my wit’s end,” said Jackie, who lives in Brierfield. “It’s been going on since November. My mum stopped doing everything.

“Prior to that she had been quite active but she stopped eating and she stopped going out. Since then she has gradually getting worse.”

Mrs Todd, a grandmother-of-three, refused to celebrate Christmas at her daughter’s house as usual and by February 9th her condition had deteriorated so much that Jackie was forced to call 111. She was taken by emergency ambulance to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where she stayed for 10 days.

“The hospital staff were brilliant but I was told that there would be a package of care ready once she left hospital. That was not the case.

“She has carers going in to see her but she is still refusing to eat and they can’t make her eat.”

Jackie said doctors insist her mum, who lives in Stoneyholme, does not have a physical illness and X-rays carried out while she was in hospital failed to detect a physical problem.

“It’s like seeing a ghost in bed. I just feel like she’s going to die a slow and painful death unless she gets the help that she needs.

“In two weeks’ time I think she’ll end up back in hospital and we’ll be back at square one because she isn’t eating. She’s literally starving herself to death.”

Jackie said her mum has been visited by a member of the community mental health team since she returned home from hospital but claimed she has not received any further help.

Mrs Todd was initially prescribed anti-depressants by a doctor but was told to stop taking them because she was not eating. Everyone seems to be passing the buck. The care system is so difficult to navigate.

“You don’t have to be medically trained to see that there is something seriously wrong with my mum. When she was admitted to hospital the nurses were aghast at how emaciated she was. We keep being pushed from pillar to post and now it’s got to crisis point.”