Nikki Grahame’s family reportedly believe she was discharged from hospital too soon amid her anorexia battle and was not ready to have treatment at home.
The late Big Brother star spent three weeks in Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester before she left on April 9.
Her body was discovered the next day in her London home with those close to her now believing the 38-year-old was discharged too early.
Heartbreaking: Nikki Grahame’s family reportedly believe she was discharged from hospital too soon amid her anorexia battle and was not ready to have treatment at home
A source told The Sun: ‘Those close to Nikki feel she would be alive today if she wasn’t discharged so soon.
‘Her family feel she wasn’t strong enough physically to care for herself. It’s left them shocked and heartbroken.’
MailOnline has contacted Dorset County Hospital for comment.
Nikki had struggled with anorexia for much of her life and was first admitted to a psychiatric hospital at age 12.
Family: The late Big Brother star spent three weeks in Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester before she left on April 9 (pictured with her mother Sue)
Earlier this week, Nikki’s friends reactivated her fundraiser to help her heartbroken family pay for her funeral and help others with eating disorders.
The fundraiser was initially set up a month ago by Nikki’s friends and raised £65,000 for the Big Brother star to have specialist treatment for her eating disorder.
Her friends posted the following message on her page: ‘We just wanted to let you know that we are turning donations back on for anyone that would like to make a donation in Nikki’s memory, as lots of people have been asking if they can still donate.
‘An amount will be used for the funeral costs and the remaining funds will be used to go towards an organisation that helps those suffering with eating disorders, the crucial funding that has been lacking to help people in these awful situations has not been addressed, we will use this money to the best of our ability to try and stem this horrific, debilitating illness.
Statement: The Big Brother icon died just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for anorexia treatment
‘We also would like to thank people who have sent private messages with lovely words about Nikki, she would be so thankful.’
The charity hasn’t yet been selected but tributes and donations continued to pour in from heartbroken fans.
It comes after it was revealed Nikki’s loved ones believed her health was improving ahead of her tragic death – leaving them in total shock.
Nikki also assured her friends she was ‘all good’ in a harrowing final Facebook post just before she entered a hospital for her eating disorder.
Iconic: Nikki became a Big Brother icon when she appeared on the reality show in 2006
WHAT IS ANOREXIA?
Anorexia is a serious mental illness where a person restricts their food intake, which often causes them to be severely underweight.
Many also exercise excessively.
Some sufferers may experience periods of bingeing, followed by purging.
Sufferers often have a distorted view of themselves and think they are larger than they really are.
Untreated, patients can suffer loss of muscle and bone strength, as well as depression, low libido and menstruation ceasing in women.
In severe cases, patients can experience heart problems and organ damage.
Behavioural signs of anorexia include people saying they have already eaten or will do later, as well as counting calories, missing meals, hiding food and eating slowly.
As well as weight loss, sufferers may experience insomnia, constipation, bloating, feeling cold, hair loss, and swelling of the hands, face and feet.
Treatment focuses on therapy and self-help groups to encourage healthy eating and coping mechanisms.
Source: Beat Eating Disorders
An insider explained that due to a lack of beds Nikki had been discharged and was due to attend a specialist clinic but tragically never made it.
The source told MailOnline: ‘She was discharged from a general hospital where she’d been for three weeks [but] there wasn’t a bed available on an eating disorder unit, NHS or private…
‘They deemed her well enough after she’d put on weight and was in good spirits…
‘Her loved ones pleaded with them not to as she wasn’t ready and was then supposed to enter a private outpatient clinic from this Monday, she sadly never got to and died within 24 hours of leaving hospital.’
Nikki’s final Facebook post was on February 27, when she uploaded a snap of a vase of roses, thanking the sender for gifting them to her.
Asked by a friend in the comments, Nikki’s last-ever Facebook activity saw her reply: ‘All good darling.’
The star, who shot to fame on the 2006 series of Big Brother, began suffering from anorexia as a child.
After first being admitted to an eating disorder unit at the age of eight, she was force-fed through a tube, and has caused long-term damage to her oesophagus from years of purging.
A source went on to The Sun: ‘Given the severity of Nikki’s condition and the strain already put on her body from 30 years of battling anorexia, there were major reservations about scaling back her care.
‘Although there were concerns that Nikki still needed heightened care, she did seem to be doing relatively well and her discharge was a cause for cautious optimism among her inner circle.
‘Nikki, unfortunately, had suffered many relapses in her life, but this time she was more determined than ever to get better and the outpouring of support buoyed her.
‘That she lost her battle when she appeared to be moving in the right direction made her passing all the more shocking and heartbreaking.’
‘It’s been really, really hard’: Her mother Sue recently claimed her daughter’s 30-year battle with anorexia worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic (pictured together)
A Big Brother icon: Nikki Grahame’s best bits on the hit reality show
Get her some BOTTLED water!
Early on into her stay in the Big Brother house, Nikki was suffering from a migraine and only bottled water would help make it budge.
She said: ‘I need water, I’m not drinking that tap stuff, it’s absolutely disgusting, I actually haven’t got energy to talk to you I feel so dehydrated.’
Despite being reassured the water had been filtered twice in the house, Nikki was still not having any of it and burst into tears.
She said: ‘I’m not enjoying it, I’m not. I hate it, I f*****g hate it!’
Memorable: Nikki was accompanied by housemate Dawn Blake to the diary room when she launched into a meltdown over bottled water
The stolen bed
A tipsy Nikki also ensured to command attention after repeating ‘that’s my bed’ several times when she found another contestant in her bed.
Sitting in the infamous gold chair she told BB: ‘Someones stolen Nikki’s bed, it’s my bed I don’t like it and I just don’t like it’
During the rant, Nikki was dressed in suspenders following a challenge the housemates were set.
Air con woes
The star always seemed to be cold in the Big Brother house and arguing with others over the temperature setting on the air con.
After wrapping up as well as she could, Nikki asked BB: ‘How are we supposed to get out of bed in the morning with the f*****g air con?
‘It’s a blizzard, I’m going to catch a cold’
Made the show: The star would often throw her arms around while reclining in the gold diary room chair and making her epic rants
Nikki was left very unimpressed after housemate Richard Newman finished off the cornflakes – and told her there was porridge oats she could have instead.
She explained: ‘He’s had four bowls of Cornflakes yesterday! Four! And they’re not just normal bowls, they’re f*****g mountains of Cornflakes!
‘Like a mountain, and a whole bag of sugar. We’re going to run out of sugar.’
Who is SHE?
Perhaps Nikki’s most iconic moment came after housemate Susie Verrico put her up for eviction and the star stormed into the diary room.
Arriving in her bikini, Nikki fumed about Susie decision despite ‘not even knowing her’, telling BB that she was feeling ‘very venomous and angry’.
Nikki’s next line cemented her in reality show history – and provided plenty of memes in years to come – as she said: ‘Who is she? Who is she? Who is she? Where did you find her?
And Nikki ended the rant with: ‘I can feel the venom pouring out of me as I breathe. I hate her, I tell you now. I’m going to find it very difficult to be pleasant to it. I don’t even want to look at it.’
Iconic: Perhaps Nikki’s most memorable moment came when she declared: ‘Who is she? Who is she? Who is she? Where did you find her?’