An inspirational Northampton schoolgirl said she would have recovered from her anorexia faster if she had been allowed back into school more quickly.
The Chron reported last week that Lottie Twiselton, aged 16, had been so poorly with anorexia that she said final goodbyes to her mum several times while in a specialist hospital for a year in London.
She battled back to health and was judged by doctors to be ready to leave their care and return home.
However she has revealed her school at the time, Northampton High School, would not agree to let her go back straight away.
Lottie said: “I was very upset about it. I almost died and without the support of my friends I would not have pulled through. I was completely ready to go back and be with them and just get back to normal but I was told the school weren’t able to have me back. It would have given me such a boost to my progress.
“It meant if I wanted to continue with a school education I had to go to a new school and make new friends.”
Lottie, now of Quinton House School, in Upton, has had anorexia since she was 14 and the eating disorder is acknowledged by the NHS to be a mental health condition.
Her mum, Claire, a nurse practitioner, believes Lottie should have been treated the same as a child returning after having cancer treatment.
She said: “I find it unbelievable that a school can treat a mental health condition differently from a physical condition. I asked why students who have had cancer have been allowed back and I was told that was ‘completely different’. I’m afraid it’s not. We were told Lottie could come back when she no longer needs help. With anorexia, you can never be completely over it, so what they offered was impossible.”
Lottie’s anorexia started when she began dieting as a teenager, but it spiralled out of control before she eventually began to get better.
Mrs Twisleton said Lottie is an inspiration to other teenagers and has written to Northampton High School’s board of governors expressing her disatisfaction that her daughter was not allowed in class with her friends, but said she had not received a reply.
A spokeswoman for Northampton High School said: “The health and wellbeing of our pupils is at the heart of everything we do. We cannot comment on the circumstances surrounding individual girls but we wish Lottie every future success and happiness.”