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

(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.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Strangers' Intervention at Gym Saves Woman's Life is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 39 comments
Mar 27, 2014 6:31 PM CDT
How about interventions for ginormous over-eaters at certain fast food and all-you-can-eat restaurants? Lots more deaths from overeating than starving, worldwide I bet.
Mar 27, 2014 1:59 PM CDT
The Tenn. paper carried a fake story designed to reinforce our beliefs about anorexia and the idea of total strangers intervening in another person's personal business.
Mar 27, 2014 9:11 AM CDT
It was all Bush's fault, but Obama care saved her.