Her husband wrote on the GoFundMe page that hospitals have refused to treat Farrokh because she doesn’t meet minimum weight requirements. Over a 10-year period, Farrokh has had blood transfusions, blood clots, edema and has suffered heart, liver and kidney failure. “She is at a critical point. … Her days are limited if we don’t take action immediately,” he writes.
Dr. Tim Walsh, an eating disorder specialist at New York State Psychiatric institute at Columbia University, told CNN that generally, refeeding is effective, but for someone so ill, it will need to be done by an experienced facility. Walsh, who has not treated Farrokh, says few medical facilities in the country have the experience and knowledge to treat a case such as hers.
Medical treatment for starvation and psychological support are the two issues that need to be immediately addressed during treatment for severe anorexia nervosa, he said.
“In treatment, first the calorie intake must be increased. It must be done very gradually and carefully so a patient doesn’t experience the complications that can occur during refeeding. One of the main complications of refeeding is cardiac-related, including heart failure, which can be fatal,” Walsh said.
Farrokh knows her time is limited and without help, she will lose the battle, and she’s pleading with the world for help through social media.
Professional photographer Mark Kolodjski knew Farrokh years before her disease spiraled out of control. Four and a half years ago, Kolodjski took a film class and used Farrokh, at the time an actress, in three of his short films. When Edmondson reached out to him a few months ago, asking him to take pictures of her, he agreed, not knowing how close his old friend was to death.
“When they showed up, I was just floored. She looked worse than the bodies you see in Auschwitz films, and it was devastating to see,” Kolodjski told CNN. “This person was not the same friend I knew so many years ago. But when I looked into her eyes, keeping myself focused on just her eyes, I saw my old friend in there.”
CNN has reached out to Farrokh and Edmondson for comment but has not heard back.