A heartbroken mother has opened up about the pain of watching her daughter pass away following a year's long battle with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
Merryn Crofts died aged 21, six years after she first began experiencing severe swelling of her hands and feet, the early symptoms of ME.
It was an uphill battle even getting a diagnosis for the disease as Merryn was forced to attend several psychologist appointments due to doctors believing a mental health problem was sapping her energy.
Eventually, an appointment with a private consultant gave Merryn a diagnosis of ME and an NHS consultant agreed.
Her mother, Clare Crofts, says it was shocking to see Merryn run out of energy as the disease took hold of her body.
"But she would come home from school, crash on the sofa and sleep for six hours," she told The Sun. "It was like watching a wind-up toy run out of power."
By the time she succumbed to the disease, she had been bed-bound for three years, was severely sensitive to light, noise and touch, and could no longer handle solid food.
In April 2015, Merryn wrote in her blog that ME made her feel like she was trapped in her body, suffering through terrible pain every day.
In the final stages, the disease began attacking the muscles in Merryn's throat, meaning she could barely eat - and what she managed to would not stay down due to stomach issues.
She moved to eating via a tube, but eventually an infection meant she could no longer even use that and she was given the option of going to hospital to try again or staying at home.
"She wasn't going back into hospital," Ms Crofts said. "She knew what the consequences were. She lasted three months. It was absolutely torture."
An inquest into Merryn's death will be carried out in May.