Sammy, a teenager with anorexia, on 24 Hours in A&E
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24 Hours in A&E: Viewers in bits over teenage girl battling anorexia

Sammy was eating just a few hundred calories per day

Viewers were in tears last night over a teenage girl on 24 Hours in A&E who was battling anorexia nervosa.

Sammy, 16, was in hospital with her mum Jo over complications relating to her eating disorder.

24 Hours in A&E
Sammy was in hospital over complications relating to her anorexia (Credit: Channel 4)

What happened on 24 Hours in A&E?

“As a parent, your main job is to feed them, nurture them, keep them safe”, Jo explained on the programme. “I was really really worried about Sammy. I felt really desperate. We went to the doctor and they referred us to a special eating disorders department.

“We had to go to see them every week and have counselling, get weighed.”

24 Hours in A&E
Sammy’s mum, Jo, was really concerned for her daughter (Credit: Channel 4)

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A doctor on the documentary series explained how difficult anorexia is to treat, as it’s a mental illness and not just a matter of telling the patient to “eat more”.

Sammy, who was visibly weak and tired sitting in the hospital, had to do a blood test. Doctors fears she had damaged her organs by regularly taking in just a few hundred calories per day.

I want a life where I don’t look at food and see calories.

When the doctor revealed she had to be admitted to the ward, Sammy burst out crying, telling mum Jo she didn’t want to be on her own.

At the end of the episode, the programme revealed that Sammy returned home after seven days.

She said, as a clip of her out on a walk with her family played on the screen: “Even though I’m in the recovery stage, I look at food as calories and not as energy or nourishment. I want a life where I don’t look at food and see calories – where I can go and eat pizza with my friends.”

24 Hours in A&E
Sammy looked so much happier at the end of the programme (Credit: Channel 4)

How did viewers react?

Viewers were in bits to see Sammy looking much happier than she did earlier.

One said on Twitter: “Wow, love how happy Sammy looked at the end. Anorexia is such a difficult illness to battle as an adult, never mind as a teenager #24hoursinaande.”

Another wrote: “#24hoursinaande #24hours #AandE @Channel4 Just watched this episode… Sammy literally broke my heart. But I’d just like to say how brave and strong you are! I’m over the moon that you are feeling better… Well done you!”

A third tweeted: “Really admire Sammy on @Channel4’s #24hoursinAandE for letting her #anorexia story be shown on national TV. She will be helping so many young people watching.”

“It was so good to see how well she was doing too,” another viewer replied.

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Someone else said: “Sammy looks so much happier and I’m crying again #24HoursinAandE.”

“#24hoursinaande was tough viewing this evening but educational on something with so much stigma,” said a sixth, adding: “Sammy’s mum is a legend; the relief when they admitted her was so clear.”

– 24 Hours in A&E continues on Tuesday (July 14) at 9pm on Channel 4

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