LONDON, ONT. -- Juliana Winik, 26, from Windsor, Ont. has been struggling with anorexia nervosa, a type of eating disorder she has had since she was 14 years old.

"Some of the hardest parts definitely is getting some sort of treatments for this, there are often wait lists that are very long," says Winik. 

Winik had been on a wait list since December of 2019 to get into the eating disorder program at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Ont.

By the end of March, her condition became a life or death situation and she was brought from Windsor to the hospital in Mississauga. 

"It was scary to have to go to the hospital but I kind of had to risk my life to save my life."

However, the eating disorder unit ended up with a COVID-19 outbreak so Winik was admitted into a different ward, where she underwent renourishment treatments. Within weeks however, she ended up catching COVID-19 as well.

"Essentially I have no immune system so I was terrified because I thought how is my body going to fight this."

Six weeks after first arriving in Mississauga, she was sent home to Windsor COVID-free, but lacking the treatment she initially went for. Winik says as she continues to battle her eating disorder she’s hopeful she can shine some awareness on this condition. 

"It’s not a choice, it’s not something you decide, to have an eating disorder. It is very much something that people do struggle with and it’s something to take quite serious."

Currently she says she’s doing a little better but is now back on the waiting list for the eating disorder program in Mississauga. 

Even though it’s frustrating to have to wait to get in again, she’s thankful to still be alive after having to battle for her life twice.