Deadly Thin: Jennifer

Aimee normally purges as much as every 10 minutes, and she's been kept from doing so for close to an hour.

"Do you feel the pull to want to go be alone with your disease?" Dr. Phil asks her.

She nods. "Mm-hmm."

"Because that's what it amounts to, right? You don't want people around, because you want to be alone with this disease." Turning to Dr. Masterson, he says, "Lisa, she hasn't had a period since she was 15. At this point she has osteoporosis in a horrible way. If we were able to get her, mentally, emotionally and physically to begin to re-feed, to nourish her body, can she improve from where she is right now?"

 

"Absolutely. Absolutely," she tells him. "You can totally turn this around, by changing your diet, by exercising, but more so by, again, finding out who you are, because that's the key. I read that you want to travel, and you want to work with people. Those are the things to focus on, not the faults of other people. When we find out our parents are human, that can be very devastating, but you can't blame yourself for other people's problems but you can reverse the things that are going on with your body. But you don't want to wait until your liver shuts down, and your kidney shuts down, and you've experienced things with your kidney, and you're already experiencing things with your bones. If you wait too long, there will get to be a point where it's not reversible, and we can't grab you, and we can't save you."

Addressing Dr. Fields, Dr. Phil says, "You've seen this as I have. She's been in four treatment efforts and each time has either been kicked out for non-compliance, checked herself out because she didn't want to give up the control and has been unsuccessful each time. There's a point at which she's got to say, does she not, ‘I'm going have to give some control over to people who have a clearer view than I.'"

 

"Absolutely," Dr. Fields agrees. She tells Aimee, "I just want you to know I have been so looking forward to meeting you. And you really have to decide what Dr. Phil said was right, what The Doctors are saying, but until you make a decision that you have a right to live, that you have a right to take up space in this world, and that what was done to you " you were raped, you were molested, let's really talk about what happened " and then to be told that you're to
blame, and you're bad. I am telling you, and I'm sure Dr. Phil and everybody else will say the same thing. There's nothing wrong with you. You were not at fault. And what was done to you is terrible, and you've got to decide now, are you going to allow those people to continue to run your life, or are you going to finally say, 'Enough'? Because the decision ultimately is up to you, and you've got to let go of the control.

Dr. Phil asks Aimee, "Does even a part of you believe that you can come back from this? So that little part of that girl we were looking at on the screen, is there a little part of you that believes that maybe you can come back from this and have a happy and healthy life?"


"Very small," she says.

Dr. Phil says, "Aimee, you told our producers that we had a guest who really hit home with you. Jennifer only weighed 63 pounds " but what impacted you about her?"

"She fought to get through it," she replies.

"Well Jennifer is actually here," says Dr. Phil, "and I am happy to report once again that she is doing even better than the last time we saw her and is now up to 103 pounds. Forty pounds up." He invites Jennifer to come out, greets her with a warm embrace and asks how she feels.

"I feel fantastic," she says, beaming.

Dr. Phil introduces Jennifer to Aimee and asks if she has anything to say to her.

She says, "Aimee, I was sitting exactly where you are about a year and a half ago. I was terrified, as you are. I had been in several treatment facilities. I walked in and out AMA or just reluctant to want to stay and to give up that control, and I have to say, over the past eight months, I had to give up a lot of the control in order to gain my life back, but I decided that I didn't want to live like a vegetable anymore. I didn't want to be cared for and taken care of and so dependent upon my parents, and I think there's a little " just a little spark of hope within you that wants that as well. And if there is, I want to do whatever I can to inspire you to really conquer this because you can do it. It is possible."

Jennifer's father has a message for Pat. "I salute you for being with your daughter and being by her side. I commend you. I know it's very difficult," he says. "The road ahead is also going to be challenging, but it's worth it. The second thing that I'd like to say is never, never give up, because hope is there, she will get better. And the third thing is to be blessed with the medical professionals here because, as Dr. Phil shared with us 18
months ago, as a parent you can love her and encourage her, but we're not trained to help her. And so I would also say to you, Aimee, take whatever ounce of strength that you have, whatever encouragement Jennifer can give you and trust in the medical staff. It won't be easy but it's worth it, and Jennifer is living proof that it can be done."


Dr. Phil has surprise for Aimee. "My after-care treatment team has been working really hard on your situation, Aimee, and has secured a spot that I

want to offer you at one of the most unique treatment centers you can ever imagine," he says. "It's called Magnolia Creek Treatment Center in Alabama."

A representative from the facility, Nicole Siegfried, offers further description. "It is a very small treatment facility. We only take 10 residents at a time, so we can give a lot of one-on-one kind of care in treating the whole person. It's a home-like environment. It's 36 acres, so it's very comfortable, a lot of outdoor activities, but very focused on what's the most important part: becoming yourself again."

"And that is a process, as you described it," says Dr. Phil. Turning back to Aimee he says, "Look, I don't want to under-represent this challenge to you. My prediction is that when they talk with you and do an evaluation that you're probably going to need to be hospitalized for probably a month. You're probably going to need to be under close in-patient medical supervision for an extended period."

Nicole agrees and Dr. Stork confirms that Aimee is not medically stable at this point.

"I'm suspecting that there has never been a time in Aimee's life that she's had more focus, more help, more concentration than she has at this precise moment in time," says Dr. Phil. Turning to Aimee, he says, "The question to you is will you grab on and give this a shot? And not just say it, but give yourself a chance? You said, 'This is the end of the road for me.' The end of the road has a terrific rest stop, and we're offering that to you. Will you do it?"

 

Aimee doesn't give Dr. Phil the resounding yes he was hoping for. Instead, with great hesitancy, she says only, "Yeah."

"Do you mean it?" he asks.

"Yeah, I mean it," she says. "I just worry about the treatment before going into the treatment center. That very much concerns me."

Dr. Phil understands her concern, but says, "You've got to be willing to give up some control here and trust that people around you love you and care about you and want to help you. Give yourself this chance. We're not going to do it to you; we're going to do it with you. OK? We're in this together. Deal?"

"Yes," she says.