Eating Disorders Part 2: One Dad’s battle for His Daughter’s Life 


    Read Part 1 here.

    He held his 14-year-old daughter, Eden, as she sat sobbing on the living-room floor. Unaware of how much weight she had gained she could feel its heaviness on her bony frame.

    “I just want to die,” she screamed through sobs the tears streaming down her cheeks; “I cannot be this size. This is too big, why did you do this to me?!” For two hours, her dad sat next to her trying in vain to calm her down. Yet nothing he did seemed to work.

    Eden’s parents made the difficult decision to put her in a partial hospital program designed to help people battling eating disorders. For 30 days, she spent 12 hours every day, Monday through Sunday, trying to overcome this demon invading her physical and mental body. She attended therapy sessions with psychiatrists and psychologists who worked hard to help her understand why she had an “eating disorder.” Eating therapists coached Eden in distraction techniques with the hope of helping her learn to cope with the stress and anxiety she felt while eating.  For 30 days she worked to win this battle, yet gained less than half her weight back going from 86 to just 95 pounds.  Even with all of this intervention and the help of antipsychotics and antianxiety medications she seemed more and more depressed. The family’s insurance would no longer pay for this level of care. At $1200 dollars a day, the time had come to move her to intensive outpatient therapy. No one knew for sure if she was ready but it was time to start. She needed to get back to living her life.

    She was not cured. She did not want to gain weight. She did not want to be fat. She could not tolerate how she looked or felt, even at 10 pounds underweight.

    Eden’s Dad slipped quietly into his study and pulled out a prayer he had placed in a file about a month prior. He was given this prayer by an elderly gentleman who, for the past fifteen years, had practiced successful deliverance. Initially, he had found him on the internet. He then met with him about his ministry to learn how he helped people get rid of afflictions they wanted released, whether it was alcohol, drug or sex addiction, or an eating disorder.

    At the time, Eden’s Dad asked this gentleman to pray for his daughter. This man immediately went before God asking for Eden’s release from this evil spirit. He even tried to minister to her to release her affliction. Yet, neither healing nor release came to his daughter. Never-the-less, this Dad’s faith stood firm.

    This night, with his daughter still sobbing in the other room, Eden’s dad was at the end of his rope. Desperately, he opened the pamphlet and began to read the prayer. He read it aloud for his wife and daughter to hear. He called on the Lord to bind the demons inside of his daughter and send them to a place where only Jesus could rescue them. He implored the Lord to heal her spirit.  He asked the Holy Spirit to comfort his daughter’s soul and help her cope.

    His precious daughter’s crying ceased. Eden felt the prayer and felt better. The prayer was intended for a three day stop gap measure, which seemed weird to her Dad, putting a time limit on prayer.  But for now, his daughter was quiet. Now she could get some much needed sleep and hopefully awake tomorrow to battle another day.

    Eating disorder 4

    His precious daughter’s crying ceased. Eden felt the prayer and felt better. The prayer was intended for a three day stop gap measure, which seemed weird to her Dad, putting a time limit on prayer.  But for now, his daughter was quiet. Now she could get some sleep and wake up tomorrow to battle another day. 

    These are the continued writings of a Christian Dad trying to rescue his daughter from the eating disorder battling to kill her; an eating disorder trying to control her, and mostly succeeding.

    Treatment programs for teenagers and adults with eating disorders have varying levels of care. Full inpatient Care is where you never leave the hospital. A partial hospital program or PHP is where you spend 10 to 12 hours a day in a program. An Intensive outpatient program or IOP is where you go back to your job or school but spend three hours a days, three days a week, often Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the program, eating with therapists and involved in group therapy.

    At best, with treatment, 60% of eating disorder sufferers make a full recovery. Without treatment, 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from eating-disorder-related health complications, including suicide and heart problems. Only one in ten sufferers will seek and receive treatment. This is a huge problem and growing in numbers more and more every day.

    There are also statistics about how a sufferer gets better. Usually, to move to intensive outpatient treatment a patient should be fully restored to their ideal body weight. Often to be weight restored to their ideal body weight, the teenage girls have to get their weight back to triple digits – 100 pounds. This milestone is anxiety provoking until it’s conquered.  These girls, and some boys, believe they will be obese at 100 pounds and no one will like them. However, once they reach this weight, and their friends still like them, it helps them battle their mindset with regard to their feelings about their weight and body image. The devil wants to convince them their distorted body image is normal; however this is NOT true. Once their weight is restored they begin to see the lies of the enemy and start to understand those thoughts were from an entity wanting to do them harm. So weight restoration is an important part of the healing and recovery process.

    It does not stop here. Some of the afflicted are cured and some battle for a decade or more, finally succumbing to the disease. Part three will reveal Eden and her Dad’s battle for her life and seek to define pathways for success in overcoming this ever growing deadly disease.

    John E. McClay, MD is a pediatric ENT and board certified as a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology/ Head and Neck Surgery. He has been married for 24 years and is the father of three girls. He is a native Texan, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M. He obtained his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston Texas. 

    He has be been named one of D Magazines Best Pediatric Specialists every year since its inception in 2003. He has also been named best pediatric specialists in the state of Texas by Texas Monthly for the last eight consecutive years. Dr. McClay has presented at national and international medical meetings as an invited lecturer. He has appeared on local radio and television programs. He is actively involved with the LEAP foundation. He is also the creator of the PediatricSinusCenter.com, providing comprehensive information to parents about all aspects of their child’s sinus and allergy problems. Dr. McClay is a follower of Jesus Christ. His prayer every morning is that he performs the good works that God has laid out before because he knows that’s where life is. 

    John E. McClay MD
    John E. McClay MDhttp://www.mannaexpressonline.com
    is a Pediatric Otolaryngologist, - an ear nose and throat surgeon for children.

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