Bury teen to travel the world after NHS experts save her life

An inspirational Bury teenager has thanked our staff for helping her to overcome an eating disorder and get her life back on track.

Jade McDonaldJade McDonald, 19, from Ramsbottom developed an eating disorder when she was 15 years old. 

During a particularly challenging period, she required a stay on our Horizon Unit.  This is a hospital-based mental health unit.  It is one of only a handful in the country to be rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (which oversees health and social care services).

After 12 months of receiving dedicated support from the team, Jade was well enough to be discharged back home.  To ensure her recovery could continue, Jade began to receive care from our community eating disorders service.

The team worked with Jade and her family to develop a tailored package of care and support.  This included one-to-one therapy sessions, group work and family support.

Jade is now doing well – she is healthy, happy, feeling confident and looking forward to the future.

Jade said:  “Vicky and the team at the community eating disorders service have made such a huge difference to my life.  

“Being able to sit down with someone every week and just pour my heart out really helped.

“I’m also really grateful to the team on the Horizon Unit, who got me through a really difficult time in my life.

“I have good days and bad days, but overall I’m feeling really well and enjoying life. I’m really pleased with my recent A-level results and have been on a family holiday. 

“I’m now planning to travel with my friends. Visiting China and Africa are top of my list.

“My long term goal is to train as a paramedic, as I want to help people and make a difference.

“I’d like to thank Vicky and the team from the bottom of my heart for all their support, kindness and understanding and being there for me.  They saved my life.”

Vicky BrownVicky Brown is clinical lead for the north community eating disorders service and Jade’s therapist.  She said:  “Jade is such an inspiration.  She has had some real challenges to overcome, but she hasn’t given in – even when things got tough.

“She’s working in a busy restaurant, about to learn to drive and recently passed her A-levels with flying colours.  She is also planning to jet off to achieve her dream of travelling the world.  I am hugely proud of Jade and what she has achieved. 

“I want other young people who are experiencing an eating disorder, or another mental health condition, to hear Jade’s story and feel positive that there is light at the end of the tunnel. They aren’t on their own; we are here to help!”

A short film has been developed about Jade’s inspirational journey and the support that the community eating disorders service can offer to young people.  Click here to view the film

Click here for more information about our community eating disorders service and how to get help from them.