Apr 30, 2012

Anorexic cover girl model, 19, dies in her sleep after weight drops to just six stone

At 19, with several teen magazine cover shoots behind her and the prospect of a lucrative modelling career ahead, she appeared to have the world at her feet.
But while to others she seemed a confident and beautiful young woman, Bethaney Wallace was facing a crippling struggle with eating disorders which saw her weight plunge to under 7st – and which finally claimed her life. 

Doctors believe that, over the three years since she developed anorexia and bulimia, her condition had weakened her heart and it gave out as she slept.
Yesterday, her father Clive, 47, said: 'She lost her self-esteem.

'She would say she was fat but she was so beautiful – she didn't realise how beautiful she was. She had up days and down days. It was like Jekyll and Hyde.

'I tried to warn her that her organs would fail but she just said: “Don't be silly”. If you mentioned food it would start an argument.' 

Her mother Cathy, 42, added  that she felt helpless because Bethaney couldn't be persuaded to seek professional advice.
'It was so hard to get help,' the housewife said. 'I went to the doctor's a few times on my own.

'I asked them to call her in for something else and then bring up the eating disorder. But Beth was not a child so I could not force her to get help.

'You are slowly watching your child die.'

Bethaney, from Newmarket, Suffolk, worked on her first photoshoot when she was 12. She became a sought-after model for glossy magazines such as Make It Groovy, Girl Talk and Popgirl, earning £112 per shoot.
But at 16, she lost weight after developing glandular fever and decided she didn't want to put it back on again, later developing anorexia and bulimia.

Friends reported that Bethaney, who gained four A*s, four As and a B in her GCSEs, and an A*, two Bs and a C at A-level, would hardly eat when they went out to restaurants together, only picking at bread.
Even on the occasions when she sat down to eat a proper meal with the family, her parents could not stop worrying, knowing she would make herself sick later.
Her weight plummeted from  8st 7lb to just 6st 10lb, leaving her gaunt 5ft 3in frame so weak that she was barely able to leave the house.
Her body mass index was 16.6, meaning she was classed as dangerously underweight. Models were banned at this year's Madrid Fashion Week if they had a BMI of less than 18.
The teenager died on April 18, while she was staying at her grandmother's house in Moulton, Suffolk.

Her parents, who also have a 22-year-old daughter, Shari, said her death was all the more tragic because Bethaney had finally  started confronting her condition late last year.

She had been given an eating plan by West Suffolk Eating Disorder Service to help her.
Her father, a roof tiler, added: 'She was getting better. She was having counselling and making good progress but the paramedics said her blood sugar level was very low.'

An inquest was opened and adjourned on April 23. A full hearing is expected later this year.
Bex Parramint, from Power Model Management in Norwich, which represented Bethaney, paid tribute to her as a 'bright, smiley, beautiful' girl.

She added: 'She was so cute. She was just right as she was.'

A spokesman for the eating disorder charity Beat said: 'Our hearts go out to Bethaney's family.

'Eating disorders are devastating illnesses and it is particularly poignant that she had been making progress in her battle to beat her illness.
'Eating disorders take a huge toll on the body over a period of time

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