California woman describes long battle with anorexia

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Thursday, May 21, 2015
Left: Rachael Farrokh with husband Rod Edmondson before her illness took hold. Right: Rachael today.
Rod Edmondson/Casian Photography

Ten years ago, Racheal Farrokh was the girl next door -- smart, beautiful, talented and healthy. But now, the 37-year-old Farrokh is battling severe anorexia, and wants to warn others about the disorder.

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Farrokh has been battling anorexia for a decade now, dropping from a weight of 125 pounds to a shockingly smaller number that she requested not to be disclosed. Her major drop in weight has caused severe health problems for the San Clemente, Calif. woman.

"I've had heart, kidney and liver failure and osteoporosis for the past seven years," she said. "When I went to the hospital in January, they flooded me with fluids and I gained 40 pounds overnight in water weight. That's when my body started shutting down."

Rod Edmonson, Farrokh's husband, now serves as her full-time caretaker, looking over her health concerns as Farrokh spends her days and nights in a hospital bed, battling her disorder while reflecting on a time when she was more healthy.

Farrokh and Edmonson when she was still at a healthy weight.
Rod Edmondson

"She was a very active individual growing up," Edmondson told ABC News. "She was valedictorian, graduated summa cum laude. She's a perfectionist."

Farrokh sometimes looks at a collage of pictures of her acting or doing certain things before her illness took hold. "I look at that girl, the head shot, it's only a few years old. It's like I know I've wasted this much of my life," she told ABC News. "I just want to be that person again -- that strong, independent woman that can be herself."

Farrokh spoke candidly about her battle with anorexia in a YouTube video while also asking for help to get her into a facility that can treat her disorder. Because Farrokh doesn't meet the minimum weight requirement set by certain facilities, she has been unable to seek treatment at different hospitals and centers. But there is one out-of-state clinic that may accept her.

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Farrokh and Edmondson also set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for her medical costs.

"She is at a critical point," Edmondson wrote on the GoFundMe page. "People think it's just about being skinny and that they just need to eat something and it will be all better. The reality is people are hurting so much that they're trying to make themselves disappear, and if we ignore it we let them."

"Her days are limited if we don't take action immediately."

As Farrokh continues to battle her disorder, she hopes her story will raise awareness to others who are in danger of going down a similar path.

"To be honest, I live moment by moment, day by day, because my odds aren't very good," she told ABC News. "The recovery process for an anorexic, it's ridiculous. If you're going to make it, you're going to have to get out there. You have to go out and meet life. Go to treatment because it's not going to come to you."

Read more about Farrokh's struggle with her disorder at ABC News.