A Solihull mum who almost died while battling anorexia has told how she is ‘terrified’ that her children might get the same condition.
Jo Thompson dropped to a skeletal four and a half stone and was given just 48 hours to live.
But determined to overcome her illness, Jo started made an amazing recovery helped by her new job at McDonald’s restaurant in Solihull High Street.
Now the 21-year-old mother-of-two, who was told she might never have children, said that getting the food balance is hard going as a modern mum.
Jo said: “It is really terrifying having kids. I do get scared that they might get ill when they are older.
“Sometimes I can feel stuck in the middle. I want them to be healthy and be comfortable with food. But with the obesity crisis looming over us, it can be hard to get it right.”
Jo, who found love with restaurant manager Zoheb Khan, 25, started showing symptoms of anorexia at just 11 years old when she started controlling her portion sizes.
She then began to skip meals and exercise constantly. She was admitted to hospital six months later, and spent the next six years battling the disease, surviving on water and peas.
But after realising life had more to offer than stints in hospital, Jo decided to apply for a job at McDonald’s in a bid to help her move on.
Jo said: “I had a point to prove with people. By working at McDonalds I wanted to show I could beat my demons, and be around food.
“It was difficult at first, but it was a turning point.
“Something just clicked in my head,” admits the mum of Zaki, two, and Amelia, aged one. “I had been home from hospital on a visit and I didn’t want to go back.”
Now Jo, who is studying at college, is planning to study midwifery at university in September.
“You don’t have to be really skinny to be suffering with anorexia.
“The earlier you get help the better, so the best thing to do is talk to someone – even if you don’t think you’re ill.”