Gemma Oaten’s brother shares photo of Emmerdale star at height of her anorexia struggles to raise awareness

·1-min read
Gemma Oaten pictured as a teenager with her brother, Chris Charles, while she was seriously ill from anorexia (Chris Charles/GoFundMe)
Gemma Oaten pictured as a teenager with her brother, Chris Charles, while she was seriously ill from anorexia (Chris Charles/GoFundMe)

The brother of Emmerdale star Gemma Oaten has shared a photo of them together shortly before she suffered a heart attack as a teenager, amid her struggles with anorexia.

Posting the photo on his fundraising page for the eating disorder support charity SEED, Chris Charles said he and his family had almost “lost” Oaten “too many times”.

“I have seen my sister, Gemma, go through many tough battles, visited her in referral units and hospitals not knowing if she would pull through and know that I would not wish this illness on any person or family,” he wrote.

“The top photo on the cover of this campaign was taken days before my sister suffered a heart attack in her late teens.

“It still haunts me to think I nearly lost her too many times, but it shows the severity of this devastating mental health illness.”

The second photo showed the family two years ago, where Oaten appears visibly healthier and happier, as they attended a SEED gala.

 (GoFundMe)
(GoFundMe)

Oaten, 37, has spoken on a number of occasions about her past struggles with anorexia and has supported her brother’s fundraising efforts.

He is aiming to raise £10,000 via GoFundMe.

“I speak from the heart when I say that if by running the marathon I can help one person, one family, one friend not have to watch their loved ones go through this, then it will be truly worthwhile,” Charles said.

“So proud of my big brother running the London marathon for us at @SeedSupportUK. His words on this campaign made me bawl my eyes out,” Oaten tweeted.

For anyone struggling with the issues raised in this piece, eating disorder charity Beat’s helpline is available 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677. You can visit their website here.

NCFED offers information, resources and counselling for those suffering from eating disorders, as well as their support networks. They can be reached by phone on 845 838 2040 or their website here.

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