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Woman suffers brain injury due to anorexia

By Tracey Leong, tleong@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jan 31 2014 02:42:15 AM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

A Redding woman was left with permanent brain damage due to her eating disorder.

Trina Leigh’s parents, Sandy Castrogiovanni-Harp and Steve Harp, shared their story of hope for their daughter. It is coming up on four years since Trina suffered a series of seizures brought on by anorexia, causing a permanent brain injury.

“I mean she had her whole life ahead of her. She was very talented. She could sing, write. She did a lot of writing of poetry but this is where she’s at now,” said Sandy.

The 25-year-old is now like a 6-month-old baby; she is completely helpless, living in a vegetative, non-cognitive state.

“So our job is to love her and do the best care for her at home and quality and we try to make sure the house is a positive house,” Sandy said.

Sandy and Steve are Trina's primary caregivers, providing her with 24/7 care.

“Diaper changes, feeding tubes, medications that we are crushing four times a day to give to her because she can’t sleep without narcotics, because they get anorexic brain to train themselves not to sleep,” said Steve.

Trina's parents take it one day at a time. While they have faced many challenges, it is their daughter’s daily progress, her laugh, and her spirit that keep them focused on what is important.

“Our regular life sort of went away. There were a lot of people who were comfortable with us before this happened that aren’t comfortable now because Katrina makes sounds and she drools and they don’t know what to do or say so they stay away,” said Sandy.

With Trina’s special needs, the family relies on donations and support from the community. Recently, they started “The Trina Project” to handicap remodel the home in order to improve the care they provide their daughter.

“You’re reaching outside of yourself and you no longer become the focus your daily focus is not you, it’s your loved one,” said Steve.

Steve and Sandy are also advocates for raising awareness about this disease and providing support for families. 

Friday is the kickoff for “The Trina Project,” at 2:00 p.m. on the Sundial Bridge in Redding and the public is invited to attend. Family friend George Ireton is helping the family with a charity gun raffle. Details can be found on their website: http://rafflerules.com/

If you are interested in supporting The Trina Project or learning more about the family you can visit their website: http://trinaleigh.com/