Young woman loses fingertips after suicide attempt
WARNING: This article contains images that some readers may find disturbing.
Australian teenager Elle Lietzow and her family have gone through some tough times as a result of her struggles with anorexia nervosa. As reported in December 2015, Elle's eating disorder had left her weighing a scant 80 pounds and nearly cost her her life. But it appeared that Elle had finally overcome the disorder and was leading a much healthier life.
When Elle discovered the health benefits of a vegan diet, the once calorie-obsessed teenager transformed into a passionate hobby chef. She rediscovered her love of food and even shared the story of her illness and recovery along with some tasty recipes on various social media channels. With her story touching many hearts and her recipes delighting many taste buds, she soon gained a huge following of fans and supporters.
But the depression and painful self-doubt that originally caused her disorder didn't simply disappear once her weight was back to normal. She was worried about her future and felt like a failure. She eventually convinced herself that she was a burden on her family and friends. In her mind she thought that everyone would be better off without her.
One morning in March 2016 after fighting with her mother and sister, Elle felt that the pressure to be "normal" had become too much for her. In desperation she took a large number of pills and washed them down with alcohol. Fortunately, her parents found her just in time lying on her bed unconscious.
Doctors tried desperately to stabilize Elle's circulation and prevent her brain from being damaged from lack of oxygen. When her blood pressure dropped suddenly, they were forced to induce a coma in order to save her life.
The doctors were able to save Elle's life, but at a cost. The strong medication needed to increase her blood pressure ended up having a terrible side-effect: the circulation in three of her fingers was too weak and the fingertips died.
The tissue in her fingertips developed a necrosis which caused them to turn black and dry out. After a while the dead cells fell off and her fingers had to be stitched up.
In May 2016 Elle opened up about her suicide attempt and the awful consequences it had on her health. At that point the young woman looked quite depressed and defeated. But in August she made a new video while she was at the hospital having the stitches removed from her fingers. In that video she seemed to be in a much better mood, almost too good considering the circumstances.
Elle explained to her viewers that she would be receiving prosthetic fingertips. She considers herself very lucky not only to have survived the suicide attempt, but also to have recovered without suffering any brain damage. She has found new courage and is determined to deal with the psychological problems that led her to try and end her life.
You can watch the video of Elle having her stitches removed here:
Elle is extremely grateful that her moment of desperation didn't end as badly as it could have. Yet again she's been given a new lease on life. Hopefully she and her family can stay strong and work towards better days ahead. After all, where there is still life, there is still hope.