Mark Austin's daughter threatened to kill herself
Mark Austin was distraught when his daughter Maddy threatened to kill herself because she didn't want to be force fed
Mark Austin's daughter threatened to kill herself.
The 58-year-old newsreader and his wife Catherine had no choice but to call in doctors to section their now 22-year-old daughter Maddy after she stopped eating and shrunk to a tiny five-and-a-half stone in 2012 but his heart broke when the then-teenager said she wanted to commit suicide rather than get better with the help of food.
Speaking on 'This Morning' on Tuesday (07.02.17), he explained: "She was there physically but she was gone. She was basically a hollow person and to watch someone to shrink away like that and to get up at four in the morning and find she's not in her bed because she's walking five miles come rain, come snow broke my heart.
"I thought pull yourself together, get real and just eat. It was the wrong thing to say. It's a mental illness. We looked into private health and they threatened to force feed her and she threatened to commit suicide. Catherine gave up work and set up an emergency ward in her bedroom and we looked after her. She got better and is back at uni."
The broadcaster broke down in tears as he recalled the moment his daughter lost control and, although he's tried to fathom why she stopped eating, he doesn't think he'll ever be able to truly understand why she put him and his wife through "hell."
He said: "The speed at which it happened was extraordinary. She was an athlete and completely normal and then she just entered this spiral of shrinking away. To be honest, I still don't know why she did it. She said something about control. It was the only thing she could control, she felt out of control, she didn't feel worthy. The only thing she could control was what she put into her mouth. All I know is we went through hell, we couldn't find the help we really needed until well down the road. I was a pushy journalist and my wife was an a&e doctor so we manage to work something else."