The Girl Who Never Ate
The story of Tia McCarthy, a seven-year-old girl with a rare disorder in which her oesophagus and stomach are unconnected. Despite corrective surgery, she has never eaten a morsel.
Tia McCarthy is 7 years old and she has never eaten anything. She is fed through a tube into her stomach and she never gets hungry or thirsty. Her mother Sue is desperate for a solution to be found to this puzzling problem before it is too late. With medical opinion in Britain unable to find a solution, Sue is preparing to submit Tia as a research case to the one of the world’s leading specialists in the art of encouraging children to eat.
This film follows Sue and Tia as they head to Austria to meet Dr Marguerite Dunitz-Scheer, whose programme of ‘controlled starvation’ boasts a near perfect success rate. The film follows Sue’s emotional journey as she hands her child over to the woman who she hopes can do the one thing no one else has ever managed – teach Tia to eat.
UPDATE : A ten-year-old girl has delighted her family by eating food for the first time in her life.
Tia-Mae has spent a decade being fed through a tube because she refused to consume anything in the usual way.
Despite being seen by a host of experts and flown to a specialist clinic in Switzerland the youngster refused to eat.
Recently her mum Sue McCarthy, 44, offered her some yoghurt and was amazed when she accepted.
Now Tia-Mae has soup for lunch, followed by custard or ice cream and the same again for dinner.
She also consumes Angel Delight, mousse, custard and semolina.
At night she is still fed nutrients through a tube, but her mum hopes that in time she will be eating like all her friends.
Born three months prematurely with a large gap between her oesophagus and her stomach, Tia-Mae spent most of her first year in hospital.
But there was no medical reason why she couldn’t eat food and the condition baffled everyone.
Now the family from Alderholt, near Bournemouth, Dorset, finally believe they are close to their daughter being able to eat enough to stop having to give her the extra nutirents.
Mum Sue said: "It’s lovely to see her eating.
"We can go out for dinner now. I take a little pot of soup for her and she sits and eats with us. Then for pudding she chooses ice cream or custard.
"I can’t believe that just before Christmas, all she was eating was a few mouthfuls of yoghurt and now we have got this long list of things that she will sit down and happily eat.
"I never thought it would happen.
"I keep thinking of her future, when she’s out and about, meeting friends, going to the pictures – normal stuff that children do.
"I don’t want her to miss out on all that. I think it bothers me more than it bothers her.
"The specialist has been my light at the end of the tunnel.
"Because no-one knew what was wrong with Tia, they didn’t know how to help us. I was left on my own, with no idea what to do.
"We’ve now got little steps that are achievable and we feel much more positive about everything."