An anorexic woman who weighs 38lbs (17kg) has been told by her doctor she could play a role in a horror movie.
Kristina Karyagina, from Russia, was warned by a specialist the only way of being cured is by learning to laugh at herself.
And the 26-year-old, who is dangerously underweight because she refuses to eat, has been told she could die within a year if she is not treated.
Her doctor even asked if she had ever considered playing a ‘living corpse’ because of her skeletal figure, in a bid to change her mindset.
Miss Karyagina stopped eating properly when she was at high school and has since become so thin she now weighs the same as an average four-year-old.
A reality TV star in her home country and former anorexic, Maria Kokhno, has now begun a campaign to get Miss Karyagina treatment before it is too late.
Miss Karyagina, from Barnaul in south-central Russia, has spent years on a diet consisting mainly of tiny pieces of apple and banana.
She is already lighter than people who have died of anorexia in the past – it can kill people who weigh around 40lbs (18kg) to 56lbs (25kg) by causing serious organ damage.
Miss Kokhno used her 520,000 Instagram fans to launch a campaign on Miss Karyagina’s behalf, local reports state.
She said: ‘I know what it is like when someone puts a meal in front of you and you cannot eat it.
‘Even when you are aware that you are dying, you still cannot eat.’
Miss Kokhno, who starred in Doma-2, asked her former specialist Dr. Yan Goland to help, and he agreed to treat Miss Karyagina for free.
Her campaign helped raise 110,000 RUB (£1,220) for Miss Karyagina and her mother to fly to Nizhny Novgorod in western Russia for treatment.
Dr. Goland reportedly made the horror movie comment in a recent appointment. The exact date is unknown.
He reportedly asked his new patient: ‘Have you ever thought about playing a part in a horror movie? A living corpse perhaps?’
Dr. Goland believes if she can change her attitude to the disorder, she should find herself on the road to recovery.
Miss Karyagina managed to eat something other than apple or banana for the first time in months, during the second day of her treatment.
Her mother Marina said: ‘Several days ago I saw my daughter eating kasha and I could not believe my own eyes!
‘Before that day, her daily diet included only a tiny piece of apple or banana, water, and juice.’
Kasha is a porridge made from cooked buckwheat or similar grain.
In a video upload of the milestone, Miss Kokhno is seen taking a leisurely stroll with her new friend.
The TV star said: ‘Today, Kristina ate for the first time since last year. She now knows that anything is possible, it is very important.’
Anorexia is a serious mental illness in which a person restricts their food intake, often causing them to be severely underweight.
Untreated, patients can suffer the loss of muscle and bone strength, as well as depression, low libido and menstruation ceasing in women. In severe cases, it can prove deadly.
Treatment focuses on therapy and self-help groups to encourage healthy eating and coping mechanisms.
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