Saturday, January 30, 2010


Karen-Ann Cooney

Karen-Ann Cooney, who passed away on January 22, 2010 at the age of 22.
Karen-Ann had suffered from an eating disorder since the age of 11

Of the many posts I have done about deaths caused by eating disorders, this one nearly broke me. I was so affected by the words of this beautiful, young girl in the video made by her brother, Paul Cooney, that I sobbed.

Shortly after this video was made, Karen-Ann died from an overdose on January 22, 2010. She was only 22.

Paul's words:

"This was a University project to create a short film from start to finish and produce a DVD. As I wanted to cover something I cared about I decided to interview my sister Karen-Ann who suffers from an eating disorder. I wanted to try and give more insight into what is an often misunderstood condition."

"Since originally posting this video, Karen-Ann passed away on the 22nd of January 2010. She will be terribly missed, but she is at peace now, and I'm thankful she got to tell her story before she moved on."

One of Karen-Ann's dearest friends sent me the link to Paul Cooney's video of his dear sister, Karen-Ann, with the following note:

"On January 22nd 2010, one of my dearest friends, Karen-Ann, passed away from an overdose.

Not but a few weeks prior her brother made a video for a film class of her, with a topic of her struggles with her eating disorder.

She was beautiful, and I want to share this with you..."

In Karen-Ann's Words from Paul Cooney on Vimeo.

Karen-Ann's family has asked that donations, if desired, may be made in Karen-Ann's memory to Bodywhys, the national voluntary organization dedicated to supporting the 200,000 people in Ireland affected by eating disorders (

To Karen-Ann's dearest friend who sent me the link to Paul's video of Karen-Ann, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Karen-Ann's words are life-changing.

May Karen-Ann finally find the peace in death that she so desperately sought in life.

~ Medusa

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Psychocat0604 said...

I am so sad to see this... I can relate so much. I myself have dealt with my eating disorder for 13 years. I too have felt the need to self-injure to I guess punish myself for being me. I have hated me for so long I dont remember ever liking me. I feel my friends and family would be better off without me but right now I believe them when they tell me otherwise. I like Karen-Ann have lost count on the overdoses and suicide attempts. I had believed last August that I was going to be eating disordered and severely depressed for my whole life. I tried an overdose again. I actually came very close to dying. I can say I am glad I am not dead right now. Even though I feel so horrible about myself and hate myself so much I currently dont want to feel the way I felt the last time I overdosed.
I am using that desire to never feel that way to not overdose again. I feel like I can even be Karen-Ann... I didnt think anyone ever felt the way I did. I wish no one would ever feel the way I do. But I am aware people fight these horrible diseases, I always felt alone. But if you are fighting an eating disorder know You Are Not Alone. Dont think the only way out of you eating disorder is Death. There is help, somewhere.

Lou Lou said...

thank you for posting this.

Alyse Griffin said...

This is just so heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

That's the saddest thing I've ever watched. Such an intelligant and beautiful girl, Rest In Peace Karen-Ann

Anonymous said...

I couldn't watch until the end, it was just so heartbreaking. She is so matter of fact about the pernicious nature of EDs. I can't believe she is no longer here, I just hope and pray she is at peace now.

Exahmia said...

I'll post a link to this in my blog Medusa, ok? Can't I ask you to writte what she is saying in english I would really love to translate all to portuguese so I can post the translation of the video with the link and i can't be sure of a few words she've said.
This strong message has to be seen for as many as people as possible.

Medusa said...

Exahmia, the video is long and I just don't have the time to transcribe it. Sorry :^(

I tried to find Paul Cooney's contact information but was not successful. I was hoping he may have a transcript.

Thanks so much for linking to this blog post. I really appreciate it.

~ Medusa

Exahmia said...

That's ok I will post it in my blog anyway :)

Thank you.

Jessie said...

Thanks for sharing this. I cried so much watching it.

Anonymous said...

I cried at the end.

Emerald said...

I knew Karen for a number of years through an Eating Disorders Support community. She was a beautiful, intelligent, articulate, sensitive, and caring person. She wanted so much to see other people recover. She gave so much of herself supporting, and encouraging others to get better, helping people to find, and access treatment, or even just lending a kind ear when someone needed their voice to be heard.

The community we were both part of, has just been absolutely devastated by Karen's untimely death. She was loved, and respected by so many people. Her loss has been very difficult for many of us to process, and come to terms with.

I know her family requested donations be made to bodywhys, The Eating Disorder Association of Ireland, as part of Karen's funeral arrangements.

Medusa said...

Emerald, thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

I can't imagine the pain that those who knew and loved Karen-Ann are going through.

My heartfelt sympathy and condolences to all whose lives she touched.


Anonymous said...

That is beyond all bearing....It's heartbreaking.

(Medusa did you try to communicate with Paul Cooney on Facebook?
Karen Ann was gone but her Facebook page is still there)

Medusa said...

Anonymous, I'm not a member of Facebook (for reasons of anonymity), so I wasn't able to contact him.

Anonymous said...

How do you view the video? its asking for a password?


Medusa said...

Unfortunately, Karen-Ann's brother has made his video private, so it is no longer viewable.


Anonymous said...

I am glad that it is now password protected. I was speaking with her mother very recently... She sat and expressed her distress and disgust about how this video, of her dear daughter, is being spread about for more impressionable, young women to fawn over and idolise. It is a highly personal video and one that she does not want spread about. PLEASE, respect her privacy. My best friend is dead and what really turns the dagger in my heart is finding this video pop-up on sites where I'm SURE pro-ana folk visit. This is not just another anorexic who succumbed to a disease. She was a beautiful soul and I miss her beyond belief. You may believe that people seeing this video will save their lives and yes, for some, it may well do ... But there are certainly others who will listen to her words expressing how she feels her family would be better off without her and these already sick people will believe the same of themselves. AND THAT IS FAR FROM TRUE.

I understand the intention in posting this about, seeing as Paul had initially put it out there but in future, THINK of the people you are hurting when you post these videos. THINK.

I know you won't allow this comment through...

I don't know if you're a member of MiSu? Either way, please... show some discretion in future. The amount of people who have gone on to post this very video to pro-anorexia sites scares me.

Medusa said...

Anonymous, please accept my deepest sympathies in the loss of your dear friend, Karen-Ann.

I have received many emails from readers suffering from eating disorders, as well as pro-anas,who were deeply touched by Paul's video of Karen-Ann and were inspired to get help.

Since the video is now password-protected by Paul, no one is able to view the video.

~ Medusa