Strangers' Intervention at Gym Saves Woman's Life

Nine worried people got anorexic woman to hospital in nick of time

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 26, 2014 7:14 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Stories about people staging a successful intervention to save someone in trouble aren't so unusual. But what about when those people are total strangers? The Tennessean has such a tale from the Green Hills YMCA, where nine regulars at the gym got worried about an emaciated young woman who was working out constantly. Lauren Lax rebuffed individual advances, insisting she was fine. But the nine did some sleuthing about her identity, got in touch with her parents in Arkansas, learned about her history of anorexia nervosa, and confronted her as a group in the parking lot.

"It felt a bit like kidnapping," recalls one. "It was a horrible experience for every single one of us, for her and for us." They convinced her to go to the hospital, where doctors discovered that her heart rate had dipped so low that she nearly needed a pacemaker. Lax recovered, however, then spent nearly a year at a treatment center. Today, she is a healthy 26-year-old. She's also about to become an occupational therapist, with a focus on helping those with eating disorders. "My heart is to pay it forward," she says. Click for the full story.

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