Nikki Grahame: Big Brother star dies aged 38
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Big Brother legend, Nikki Grahame tragically passed away on April 9 with a doctor recording complications from anorexia nervosa. Now, her heartbroken mother, Sue, has spoken about the reality star in her final days.
Her weight was the lowest it had ever been since adulthood
Nikki was just 38 at the time of her death and was a household name since 2006 after starring on the seventh series of Big Brother.
The London born star was famous for her outbursts, including her “Who is she? Where did you find her?” rant about new housemate Susie Verrico.
Nikki eventually finished the series in fifth place but her time in the house secured her as one of Big Brother’s most memorable housemates and eventually went on to appear in spin-offs such as Celebrity Big Brother.
The star had battled with her mental health throughout her adult life and had been admitted to Hillingdon Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital while growing up after while battling anorexia nervosa.
In her first interview since Nikki’s passing, Sue, 66, has spoken about her daughter who was discharged from hospital just one day before she died.
Nikki was admitted to hospital in March after falling and fracturing her lower spine while on her way to visit Sue in Dorset.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Sue said: “She rang me crying and said, ‘Mum I’ve had an accident in the pharmacy. I’ve collapsed and fallen on my back’.
“On the first day in hospital, two doctors said her condition was life-threatening. Her weight was the lowest it had ever been since adulthood.”
Sue said she had pleaded with medical staff at the hospital treating Nikki to not discharge her.
She added that she had encouraged Nikki to return to the family home but says that Nikki had wanted to spend time alone at her flat in Harrow, London.
Speaking about her daughter, she said: “There was no point arguing, she knew her own mind. I said, ‘I can’t fix you, Nikki, I’ve tried and tried, you need round-the-clock care’.
“She told me she would be OK and was going to a recovery clinic in London on the Monday, I had to stay open-minded, I didn’t know she’d die.”
The mother and daughter remained in contact in the days leading up to Nikki’s death, with their last phone call being at 3.30am.
“It wasn’t unusual for her to call in the early hours and she was happy as she’d just had a frame delivered to help her walk,” said Sue.
She continued: “She told me, ‘I promise you, I won’t ever let my body get in this state again. Mum, I’m so tired’.
“I said, ‘You go now, sleep now’. She said, ‘Night, night’. And that was it.”
Several hours later, Sue had attempted to call her daughter but became worried when there was no answer.
A friend made their way to Nikki’s home but sadly found the reality star unresponsive.
By this time, Sue was making her way to London when she received the call that everybody dreads, with Nikki’s pal saying: “She’s gone, she’s died.”
“It was 4.30pm, I was on this train and hyperventilating, I was in such a state, I got to the guard, Leslie, and told him, ‘I need some help. My daughter just died’, he took me to first-class and rang my other daughter, Natalie,” she said.
Sue added that Leslie ensured that she was on a connecting train to Waterloo and the company had arranged a cab for her.
Speaking of the moment she saw her late daughter, Sue painfully said: “I cuddled her and kissed her little mouth because of her OCD, she didn’t like me kissing her when she was alive.
“Then, as her body was being taken away, I stroked her hair and cut some of it, for us to have something to cherish of her.”
Since Nikki’s death, Dorset County Hospital has launched an internal investigation.
If you’re worried about your health or the health of somebody else, you can contact SEED eating disorder support service on 01482 718130 or on their website.
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