UPDATE: Late on Friday, Ella scored one of the two beds at RPA.
Natalie Hunt is one of the lucky ones - lucky that her weight dropped so dangerously low that doctors couldn't ignore her.
Fearing she had just weeks to live, her GP had no choice but to "push and push and push" until she could not be denied one of the two adult eating-disorder beds in NSW.
The Dapto 21-year-old said the admission to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital's inpatient program saved her life.
"There is something you must understand about the treatment of eating disorders, and it is this: it is incredibly difficult to do as an outpatient," Miss Hunt said yesterday.
"In my personal experience I don't think that it works. I don't think that people can be healed in such a distant and disconnected way.
"I believe that it serves as merely a check-in to make sure you aren't dead.
"When you're in the thick of an eating disorder it hardly matters what anybody tells you during a one-hour session because you can simply attend the session and go home to your usual behaviours.
"And this is exactly what I did."
Natalie is one of a brave chorus of women from the Illawarra sharing stories not to trigger sympathy but to get the services they deserve.
They have done the math and figure two beds for adult men and women across the state is not good odds for any sufferers, let alone ones who live in the Illawarra and beyond.
The Butterfly Foundation says eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness, by up to 20 per cent.
The mortality rate for anorexia is between six and 12 times higher than the annual death rate from all causes in females aged 15 to 24 years of age.
Roughly 10 per cent of individuals with anorexia will die within 10 years of the onset of the disorder.
Miss Hunt knows how close she came to death and fears for the hundreds of men and women across NSW who can't get the help and support they need.
Gerringong's Rebekah McAlinden shares her concerns.
She lasted just four days in the outpatient program because travel was too draining on her already frail mind and body.
"Many people struggle with eating disorders their whole life because they don't receive adequate care and this should not be the case," said Miss McAlinden who has been blogging along the way about her recovery from anorexia and bulimia.
Both women are supporting the Fed Up NSW Health campaign to expose the shortage of specialist beds, long waiting lists and lack of general support for sufferers.
For Ella Graham, the brave 23-year-old behind the campaign, the epic battle against her demons is still very real.
Just two nights ago she was rushed to hospital.
"I ended up in emergency last night for eight hours for cardiac monitoring and fluids. They still couldn't find me a bed," Ms Graham told the Mercury.
"A patient recognised me and said 'You're the Fed Up girl!'
"I said 'Yeah, I'm here because I fainted in my psychiatrist's rooms'."
While Ms Graham hangs on, her supporters are flooding Twitter and Facebook with messages of support for her - and for her cause.
Miss Hunt said she "jumped on the bandwagon" to help expose the holes in the health system.
"While I do believe that the foundations have been laid for effective eating-disorder treatment, there is a long way to go to provide access to treatment to all sufferers instead of waiting until the eleventh hour."
Her own hell began when she was 15 and studying for her school certificate.
"I flew under the radar for many years, restricting and bingeing without any real obvious physical signs of an eating disorder," she said.
"Of course, there were other signs - failing grades, isolation, moodiness - but nothing that outwardly warranted alarm that I was heading for a really tumultuous time.
"Because I was so secretive, all of the emotional problems bubbled to the surface where they exploded with such intensity that I tried to take my life in 2010."
Her first stint as an inpatient lasted six weeks. She relapsed and found herself back to the dangerous weight and mindset which first got her admitted.
"I stayed for three hellish months the second time, then I was discharged into the day program, travelling two hours by train each day, four days a week, for more than 12 weeks," she recalled.
"I was determined to live, but the difficulty in accessing treatment was paralysing and I often cried on the train because I was so exhausted with the process."
Miss Hunt, who looks forward to a bright future studying Japanese and travelling the world as an air hostess, has a lot to say about the state of inpatient treatment.
"Some days I feel like I have the words and some days I do not.
"Some days I have the courage to speak about the stress and strain of being in a locked psychiatric unit with limited access to nature and peacefulness among the chaos of a general psych ward. Some days I try to forget that I was far from home and from the ones I love because there was no support closer to home.
"Sometimes I try to forget that I was pushed and shoved around by my local health services who did not know what to do with me. But every day I am thankful because I cannot begin to express my deep gratitude for the people who essentially saved my life."
NSW Minister for Mental Health Kevin Humphries told the Mercury he was committed to delivering quality mental health services for the people of NSW and improving outcomes for people with mental illness.
But he gave no word on any plans to increase the number of inpatient beds for specialist eating-disorder treatment. The state has 10 beds for specialist treatment - two for adults at RPA and eight for children and teens at Westmead.
"It is important that we ensure that people suffering with eating disorders have access to the most appropriate support and treatment, with local treatment options wherever possible keeping people connected with their support system and build the treatment relationships that underpin recovery," Mr Humphries said. "We are working to equip clinicians throughout NSW to identify and treat eating disorders, so that treatment can commence as early as possible and as close to the person's support system as possible. To ensure this happens the NSW Government funds specialists through the Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders to improve treatment and support across NSW, train local clinicians to enable them to treat patients close to home, and provide outreach support to other sites."
Mr Humphries said the government had funded a world-first interactive Eating Disorder Online Training Program to train general health and mental health staff in the identification and treatment of eating disorders. There is also a web-based resource centre under development through the Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders.
But all the training in the world won't make a difference for people like Ms Graham - acutely ill people who need treatment yesterday.
Rebekah McAlinden blogs about her recovery from an eating disorder at www.risforrecovery.wordpress.com.
Anyone seeking help and support with eating disorders or body image issues, please call 1800 334 673 or email email@example.com