A FOUR-year-old girl with a chronic eating disorder is being treated in the North-East after all.

The family of Annie Jones, who suffers from infantile anorexia, feared they would have to raise up to £80,000 for specialist treatment in an American clinic.

But, following national publicity about the case, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust agreed to put her on an intensive treatment programme.

Since the treatment started, Annie, of Normanby, near Middlesbrough, has put on weight, leaving her family hopeful that she can once again lead a normal life.

Annie has been on a drip every night since she was 13 months old, which intravenously feeds her fluids. She rarely gets hungry and, on the rare occasion she does try to eat, she vomits.

Until recently, she only weighed two stones but following treatment by a feeding specialist from North Tees Hospital, she is now up to her heaviest weight, 2st 12lb.

Her mother, Lisa Jones, who gave up her full-time job to care for Annie, says her daughter is showing positive signs of recovery.

"Since the programme started a few weeks ago she has already started putting on weight," she said.

"When it comes to meal times now, I will let her ask for food instead of me telling her it's dinner time.

"In the morning, she has even started asking for some tea and biscuits before school.

"We don't want to go anywhere else for treatment but we felt we didn't have any choice.

"We will still take her to the Kennedy Krieger Institute, in Baltimore, for an assessment in September.

"But, unless the treatment here doesn't work after seven or eight months, we will not be paying for their full programme."

A team of psychologists, psychiatrists and specialist dieticians are now coaxing Annie into eating food again.

The family will still use the £7,500 raised by friends and supporters to attend the consultation in Baltimore.

They would like to thank everyone who helped raise the cash over the past two years. There are no more fundraising events planned for the immediate future.