*intro music* two-thousand families in britain have a child born with a genetic disorder that makes them fixated by food. she thinks about food almost twenty-four seven. i wouldn't be surprised if she actually dreams about it sometimes.
there's one occasion where she ate cat poo *inaudible* rebecca's life revolves around food. that's her whole life. and it does cause a lot of tension.
the urge to feed the hunger can drive people to desperate lengths when i was younger i used to rummage bins and when i got angry i used to kick the kitchen door down one front bit came out as you can see right in here *inaudible yelling* he has attacked me in the past you don't know when hes going to flip so it's like living with a wild animal if i eat more and more i will just... die weight gain can be rapid. leading to obesity, disease and early death its like an obsession that takes her over
i eat chocolates and biscuits and stuff she is not capable of controlling her own weight i said it was like a prison cell and it is like a prison cell if she had complete freedom... she would eat herself to death *crying* wake up, its time to get out of bed darling. you alright? i knew something was wrong when i was pregnant she shouldve been... moving inside of me which she wasn't
it was just the worst case scenario rebecca m. is eleven years old and already weighs eleven stone (154 lbs) she was born with a genetic disorder called praderâ€“willi syndrome or pws pws is caused by deletion or damage to chromosome 15 the affects are physical, mental, emotional and incurable i said, we might as well just kill her now then. there's no point in her goin' on children with pws soon develop a powerful obsession with food she used to steel fruit from the fruit bowl, other peoples food off their plates if they weren't watchin' uh, she would go down the bins
rebecca would eat almost anything i remember the day that she ate the cat poo and i had to wash her mouth out i mean it was nothing to her.. but the taste must've been vile some families resort to locking up food cupboards rebeccas house has an alarm in the kitchen so, if rebecca comes this far the alarm will pick her up and the alarm will go off despite all this rebecca is getting bigger and her problems look set to multiply they don't make school uniforms in rebecca's size. do they? so *inaudible* has made us some clothes
are you gonna go down and do your lunch box and daddy will check it in a minute? rebeccas brain never signals when shes full up so shes always hungry rebecca thinks about food, i think, every minute of our life and its food thats often the cause of her temper tantrums when rebecca goes into one of her tantrums it can be absolutely over nothing or it could be over something really important rebecca's lunch box is checked every day to make sure shes not sneaked in something naughty but this morning shes more interested in the cat food its not just food, pws causes a wide range of learning disabilities
so rebecca gets special needs support at her local primary school i do worry sometimes about when rebecca goes to school about what sort of a day shes gonna have whether shes gonna be happy how many boys are gonna pick on her today praderâ€“willi syndrome is caused by a damaged chromosome but it affects the home of rebeccas body its not just the case of the eating. *inaudible* where the brain doesn't tell the stomach its full up it's her sexual development, its her mental development, its her social development, its everything about two-thousand people in britain have pws theres no cure
but, with careful management can it be controlled? at 18 stone (252 lbs) katy williams has fought the disorder for all of her twenty-three years when she was born we were told shed be dead by the time she was in her late teens or early twenties she wouldve over eaten herself to death she was slim... till she left school and then college was bad and then since shes finished college its disastrous its a cruel twist of pws that katie needs only half of the calories needed by the average women this is because her poor muscle tone doesn't burn up calories as fast katies daily limit is just 900 calories
she loves biscuits shes never allowed to have them she never has chips or burgers or fried tings or roast potatoes its quite difficult when you think of it how their all pleasures for the rest of us katy lives above the pub runned by her divorced dad she is independent much more than many with pws but her freedom comes at a price not only does dad count her calories he also counts her cash generally speaking if she wants something i give her money for it but i like to see receipts when she comes back now i partly live independently, cooking my own meals and i choose what i want to eat
katie keeps hunger pounds at bay with low calorie lunches and heaps of vegetables for her evening meal katie believes she can live independently with pws will katie ever realize her dream and just why despite her dads best efforts is she piling on the pounds she wont admit this, if she had complete freedom she would eat herself to death its not just her size that makes life difficult for 11 year old rebecca m. pws gives her weak muscles and a lack of coordination. this makes even the simplest physical activity like getting up off the floor an ordeal like a big beached whale is my becca she can't just get up like you or i would do she would have to sorta roll over and go on her knees probably and climb up something she couldn't do it quickly
suppose if she was sat at dinner she might get up a bit quicker but no she does everythin' in slow motion rebecca is never out of hospital with her weight and growth related problems i think where her spine has begone to curve she has been getting a lot of pain so i think maybe she's looking into where there was a problem with her spine put this ear here. put this ear here does that hurt? no no yeah.
it does? yeah. i've seen enough. when people look at rebecca now they just assume shes just a very overweight eleven year old they wouldnt say "that child's got pws" even in hospital staff can miss judge the impact of a treat lady: i might be able to find you a sweetes. what would you like a couple? mom: no, just the one! lady: oh, just the one? lady: it is nearly christmas mom mom: no, just the one!
woman sex,lady: would you be aloud to take a couple? mom: no, thank you, just the one.lady: oh, dear. if you're given more than one at a time next time she goes back she'd want one or more. so, i think one was enough. wasn't it?
it's six-thirty in the morning in bristol. time for twenty-three year old katie williams to get up for work she wears an oxygen mask because her weight is begging to cause her breathing difficulties