Nikki Grahame's mum begged nurses not to discharge anorexic daughter – who died just hours after leaving hospital

NIKKI Grahame’s mum, Sue, begged nurses not to let her daughter leave hospital, mere hours before her death.

The Big Brother star, who died on April 9 this year age 38, was fondly remembered by fans, friends, colleagues and her family. 

Speaking for the first time since her daughter’s premature death, Sue Grahame, 66, told the Sunday Mirror: “The nurses were amazing but I told every single one, ‘She mustn’t go home. She’s too ill’.

“Her father even called and told the hospital, ‘If you let her leave, Nikki will die’. But they still threw her out.”

Sue’s ex-husband David died of pancreatic cancer just nine days after Nikki died.

She said: “She was so poorly and her OCD was so bad. I couldn’t get near her as she was so worried about germs. A group of us got her sectioned under the Mental Health Act. It was awful but we had to do it.” 

Her family and friends never gave up trying to save her and in March, before her last hospital admission, they raised £69,000 so Nikki could get the private treatment she needed. 

Nikki’s mother said: “I am destroyed. There’s part of me that’s lost for ever.

“My fight to get Nikki well started 30 years ago. In the end, I lost her. It has been the fight from hell.”

The family are currently awaiting the outcome of an internal investigation at the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester.

Sue, a former care home worker, revealed that Nikki’s discharge notes showed her daughter had medical issues she was unaware of. 

She said: “To my surprise – because nobody had told me – they said she had bradycardia, which means a very low heart rate.

“They were also worried about her liver, she had a cracked pelvis and a wedge fracture in her spine. She even had hypoglycemia, which explains the fact she fainted a lot.

“But she wanted out of there because she just really wanted to be back at home.”

Nikki had been admitted to hospital two weeks earlier in March, after she fell and fractured her lower spine on her way to visit her mum in Bridport, Dorset.

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.

“I spent all day, every day with her.

“She kept saying, ‘Mum, I’m really sorry but I’m going to have to get into bed and go to sleep’. I think now it was her heart getting slower.”

Nikki was discharged from hospital on April 8 and her mother asked to go her home with her, but the TV star demanded she had time alone at her Stanmore flat.

Sue explained that there was no point in arguing as Nikki knew her own mind. She told Nikki that she needed round-the-clock care.

“She told me she would be OK and was going to a recovery clinic in London on Monday. I had to stay open-minded. I didn’t know she’d die.”


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

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Sue revealed that normally Nikki would call her in the early hours and that night she was happy because she’d had a frame arrive to help her walk.

“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.”

Sue didn’t get an answer when she called Nikki later that morning so she contacted a friend who had keys to her daughter’s flat. 

The friend found Nikki unconscious and called for an ambulance, but it was too late. 

Sue was immediately on a train to London when she got a call from Nikki’s friend that told her her daughter had died. 

At Nikki’s flat, Sue spent a final few moments with her daughter, cuddling and kissing her on the 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.”

To celebrate Nikki’s life 30 of her family and friends threw a party that Nikki would have wanted, they played rounders and had a happy time.

In April, her mother is planning on taking Nikki’s ashes to Tahiti for what would have been her 40th birthday.

She said: “She loved the Marlon Brando film Mutiny on the Bounty that was made around there.

“Now I want to take her there, the only way I can.”

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