Chloe Swinfield is the face of living hell.
"I can't laugh at anything any more, I can't cry any more, I can't sleep any more, I can't function any more," she says from her Sydney hospital bed.
In her darkest hours, 15-year-old Chloe pleads with her mum: "Please, just let me go."
Diagnosed almost three years ago with anorexia - the mental illness that claims more lives than any other - Chloe feels desperately alone.
"There is not one single bed for this disease in the entire Illawarra, for children or adults," her Lake Illawarra mother Jan Whitton said yesterday.
"This is a mental illness and it's reaching epidemic proportions, yet we still have no support."
Ms Whitton is angry that anorexia "is not treated like a real disease".
"I do not hear a cancer patient or heart disease patient contend with the stigma that an anorexia patient, and family suffer," she said.
"The patient with the 'real' illness gets empathy, understanding and support - all the things I'm yet to experience as a parent of an anorexia sufferer."
Chloe has taken the unusual step, with the support of her mum, of releasing her photos - "healthy" and "unhealthy" - to get authorities and the community at large to take notice.
"I donate to Daffodil Day, I support the convoy [for kids with cancer] when it comes past my home, but where's the convoy for anorexia?" an emotional Ms Whitton asked.
Chloe is a patient at Westmead Children's Hospital, where she has spent much of the last three years.
"Children must be very ill to get a bed there," Mrs Whitton said.
In just a few years Chloe could find herself on the long queue for the state's two adult beds.
"Rather than seeing children end up on the waiting list, surely it would make more sense to throw all resources at helping children make a full recovery," Mrs Whitton said.
"The criteria for getting one of these two beds is actually to be in heart failure. What other illness, mental or physical does this apply to? None."
Mrs Whitton hopes her story of desperation will strike a chord with the community. Her dream is to get a centre for eating disorders built in the Illawarra.
"My daughter cries from pain because her frail little knees dislocate on a regular basis but people think 'she's not really sick'," she said.
"She hates herself, wishing she was worthy of life, but she's not really sick.
"Somebody help me, I want her to make it."
Renowned Australian mental health expert Professor Richard Newton told the Mercury that NSW could follow the lead of other states to improve eating disorder services.
During a recent visit to Wollongong, Prof Newton said NSW had leaders in the field but people had trouble accessing their expertise.
"There is a gap in the system but there are good models in Victoria and Queensland that are having great success linking people to services they need," he said.
The Butterfly Foundation: 1800 334 673.