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Canadian Teen Headed to Arizona for Anorexia Treatment

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A 13 year old Canadian teen who is suffering from anorexia is going to a clinic in Arizona for treatment as a last resort.

Although her stay at the US eating disorders clinic is not covered by health care insurance, the girl’s family believes that the Arizona clinic offers her the best chance for recovery. Friends and family members have so far raised approximately $20,000 for the treatment program, although a 3 month stay at the Arizona clinic can run as high as $100,000.

Shelby has been battling the eating disorder for some time, and has been unable to eat a meal for a year. She is currently receiving nourishment through a tube, and has been hospitalized 5 times.

Doctors at the Izaak Walton Killam (IWK) hospital in Halifax where she is receiving treatment initially recommended that Shelby leave her home province of Nova Scotia, to travel elsewhere in Canada where there are more specialized eating disorder treatment programs available. Her doctors then backed down on that suggestion, and recommended instead that Shelby attend a local outpatient program.

Shelby has been a patient at IWK hospital for the last 2 weeks. The last time she was sent home, she lost a great deal of weight and required tube feeding. Her mother does not believe that an outpatient program is suitable to meet the complex needs of her daughter, and that intensive treatment available through the special program in Arizona is the only way for her daughter to get the help she desperately needs.

The situation has been complicated by the fact that Shelby was too sick to travel a few months ago, leaving few options available.

The Arizona clinic offers 3 on 1 care and is staffed by specialists in the treatment of anorexia. Shelby’s family just hopes that their daughter will receive the care she needs to get better.

Source: CBC News