Mom faked cancer to hide eating disorder from loved ones

<i>Image screengrab via Nine News</i>
Image screengrab via Nine News

For two years, Claudia La Bella told close friends and family that she had terminal ovarian cancer and was unable to keep down her food.

She also said she needed to take laxatives as treatment, to flush toxins from the chemotherapy from her body.

It wasn’t until the 28-year-old tragically lost her life in 2014 that love ones learned she had actually been hiding an eating disorder.

In her final days, La Bella weighed just 77 lbs.

<em>Screengrab via Nine News</em>
Screengrab via Nine News

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An inquest into the young mom’s death showed that she’d taken up 800 laxative pills a day in the years leading up to her death, ABC News reports.

Her husband, John La Bella, told the court the pair spent up to $500 a week on laxatives from their local pharmacy store.

“I trusted her, she’s an adult, not a child. I took her word,” he said, adding that his late wife would never let him attend the appointments she said were for cancer treatment.

The inquest also revealed La Bella had self-discharged from hospital just 11 days before her passing — despite a CT scan taken during the visit showing “dozens of partially digested pills” in her stomach, which La Bella claimed were painkillers.

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La Bella’s husband said that it was not until he read his wife’s autopsy report, that he learned the true cause of her death.

The court will continue to hear evidence from La Bella’s GP, the doctor who treated her at the hospital as well as the pharmacist and retail manager at the pharmacy, before deciding if any charges will be laid.

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