A mother watched her son starve himself to death after he wanted to shed weight. A pact they had started together has revealed the pain she struggles with every day.
Melanie Brazier admitted she is ‘broken’ by the death of her son Steven, who suffered a cardiac arrest after his weight plunged from 19 stone to just eight a severe eating disorder.
She was diagnosed with type two diabetes, when the pair had agreed in 2007 to diet together, with both keen to see Steven living healthier as well.
However, after receiving compliments about his improving looks he soon began taking his routine to the extreme, spending an hour in the bathroom after meals and working out throughout the night.
Seven years later he died, aged just 21, and his mother has now opened up about her regrets and their close relationship.
Ms Brazier, 52, told the Mirror: ‘I miss him so much and wish I’d never started the stupid diet.
She added: ‘From the day he was born we did everything together. Living without him, knowing the pain he was in during what should have been his best years, it’s broken me.’
What originally started as a healthy weight loss plan saw Mr Brazier, who also had Asperger syndrome, lose 11 stone.
He was admitted to Red House inpatient unit in Maidstone in April 2012, where tests found he had life-threateningly low potassium levels, but self-discharged just hours later.
He was admitted again to the hospital’s coronary care unit a day later, but after gaining some weight, went home just five days later.
After a year of his family trying to get him sectioned, and being hospitalised three times, Mr Brazier was detained under the Mental Health Act in June 2012.
The troubled teen would splurge and purge up to 25 times a day, and he had a nurse by his side for practically 24 hours a day, with his condition slowly improving.
The trust tried to refer Mr Brazier to the local community mental health scheme, but the scheme did not accept his case.
Despite this, and Ms Brazier’s pleas for the section not to be lifted, the trust discharged him from their care.
Mr Brazier became withdrawn, and isolated himself from family and friends. His mental health continued to worsen and he began to self-harm.
Ms Brazier once witnessed him standing in the middle of a dual carriageway of heavy traffic, and was a risk to himself although he denied any suicidal intention to the trust.
She asked for him to be sectioned again but due to his deterioration in health, Mr Brazier suffered a cardiac arrest and died on February 7, 2014.
His heartbroken mother added: ‘I told him to rest and if needed me to call me. When he wasn’t up by 10.45am the next day, I went up to his bedroom because it was unusual.
‘I knew he was dead as soon as I saw him. Heartbroken doesn’t describe how I felt.’
Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust admitted in March it did not provide proper treatment to Mr Brazier.
He was in and out of hospitals, where he often escaped and refused to return, until his death in February 2014.
The 19-year-old was first assessed by mental health professionals in December 2011, but was not admitted as an inpatient for four months.