An anorexic who starved herself to within a day of death after being bullied for having ginger hair has overcome her condition to become - a hairdresser.
Annabel Norris, 20, shrank from eight stone to just four stone 13lbs after developing the serious mental health disorder when she was 13.
Horrified doctors warned Annabel she was less than 12 hours from death after she was rushed to hospital when she was 16.
However, she has managed to recover and has now launched a successful career.
Annabel, from Gildersmore, West Yorkshire, said: 'My mum made me see I didn't want to die - it's been incredibly hard and I never could have recovered without her.
'I've got over all my body issues - and I'm delighted with my ginger hair just as it is. But during my years as an anorexic, it really was a living hell - I wouldn't wish it on anyone.'
Annabel was relentlessly taunted at school by a gang of bullies who called her 'ginger b***h'. They also plagued her with emails saying she was a 'fat ginger cow.'
She said: 'I grew to hate my ginger hair and my weight so I thought the only way I could be accepted was to dye my hair different colours and stop eating.'
She changed her hair colour every week, would exercise for hours and began skipping meals.
She said: 'Mum became really worried, especially after discovering emails sent to me by the school bullies.
'She took me to see the doctor, who diagnosed me with anorexia and I was hospitalised.
'After four months of intensive therapy my weight increased to a healthy eight stone 10lb.
'I was allowed home but as soon as I returned to school, the bullying started again but worse than ever - I went back to my old eating habits and excessive exercise.
'Within eight months I was back to square one and back in hospital.'
In May 2007 when she was 16 Annabel was so weak she was unable to get out of bed and was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary.
Doctors discovered her heart was very weak and she was just hours from death.
Annabel confessed to her distraught mum Dorianne she had starved herself after being bullied about her ginger hair.
Dorianne, 42, a carer for old people, said: 'From the moment she was born, we loved Annabel's bright ginger hair.
'I couldn't believe it when she told me she was anorexic because of the bullying about her lovely hair.
'I was in total shock and desperately worried - her stomach had completely disappeared.
'The doctors said that if she had stayed in bed at home for just one more day she would have died.'
Annabel spent three months in hospital being fed through tubes and underwent counselling sessions to overcome her anorexia.
She said: 'My near death experience made me realise how much I really wanted to live. It changed my outlook on life.
'I became more positive and even met my boyfriend, Simon, 18, who was very understanding.
'Gradually I began to eat a little more each day, starting simply with breakfast, then forcing myself to eat that extra mouthful at dinner.
'It has been far from easy but finally I'm a healthy eight-and-half-stone and in control. I even completed an NVQ level 2 in hairdressing - despite being bullied about my hair, I'd always been fascinated by different haircuts and styles.
'Part of me wanted to prove to myself, and everyone else, that ginger hair can look amazing.
'Finally I've got over all my body issues - and I'm delighted with my ginger hair just as it is.'
Annabel is organising a sponsored sky dive for anorexia charity Beat next year. For more information and support visit their website at www.b-eat.co.uk or call the helpline on 0845 634 1414.