British Teen Who Broke Ribs Hugging Boyfriend Talks Overcoming Anorexia

By McCarton Ackerman 02/24/16

A British teenager whose anorexia left her so frail that she broke her ribs jumping into her boyfriend’s arms has gone on to make a miraculous recovery.

British Teen Who Broke Ribs Hugging Boyfriend Talks Overcoming Anorexia
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Georgia McGrath, 18, weighed just 70 pounds when the incident took place last August. To make matters worse, an unflattering photo capturing the exact moment her ribs broke also became a viral sensation on the Internet. However, she credits that moment as the wake-up call that she needed to change her ways.

“I was left screaming in agony and could barely breathe. I thought I punctured my lungs,” said McGrath to Daily Mail. “I was so stick thin and my bones were so brittle...I never for one moment thought I would have such a severe injury from something as simple as posing for a cute photograph.”

McGrath’s eating disorder first developed in 2012 after she was bullied for being fat in school. At the height of her anorexia, she subsisted on just 100 calories a day, going to extraordinary lengths to keep her weight down.

“I was so desperate to be thin that I was burning 1,500 calories a day at the gym and cycling 10 miles to get there and back. Then back at home I’d pretend to cook food in the kitchen, make a load of mess and leave the dishes out so my parents thought I’d eaten,” she recalled. “People were making comments about me needing a wheelchair and wondered how I wasn’t dead because I was so dangerously thin.”

Within two years, McGrath’s eating disorder was taking dangerous tolls on her body. She was rushed to the hospital in August 2014 after suffering a seizure and stroke-like symptoms that left the right side of her body completely numb. But it took her rib-breaking incident a year later to spark a catalyst for change, as well as the dying wish of her great-grandmother.

“She asked for a moment alone with me and made me promise her that I would live because she knew how poorly I was all along,” said McGrath. “She told me that she didn’t want to see me in heaven for a long time and it really hit hard and gave me extra motivation to beat anorexia.”

McGrath has even gone above and beyond to overcome her anorexia, conquering her fear of sugar by launching a specialist service that provides candy carts to weddings. She’s also still with her boyfriend, 25-year-old Ashton Benton, and hopes to fly to Utah soon to meet his parents.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.