24-year-old social media influencer Josi Maria, who spoke publicly about her battle with anorexia, died during a recent trip to the Canary Islands.
The 24-year-old Instagram star felt sick while flying to the Spanish archipelago in late November and later died in Gran Canaria alongside her friend and fellow influencer Vanja Resova.
Calling Maria “an angel on earth,” Resova revealed the heartbreaking news in an Instagram postWednesday.
“She has motivated many of you every day to see the positive in everything and to stay strong,” Resova wrote, referring to her friend’s public testimonies about her eating disorder.
“She is now upstairs with the angels,” she said.
Maria, who was from the northern German city of Kiel, had more than 138,000 followers on Instagram. She often shared her health struggles and advice with her followers.
“I definitely know that I look like this and no, I don’t think it’s nice,” she wrote in an August postfeaturing a photo of herself. “I like to be slim, but not skinny. (It’s still a disease, many forget that and judge you for it.)”
In an interview with German news outlet DE24 News, Resova said her friend appeared exhausted during their recent flight.
“She said she had two coffees and that her circulatory system couldn’t take it. But she also hadn’t eaten for two days,” she said.
Upon arrival, both women went to bed and fell asleep.
“When I woke up shortly after midnight, I noticed that she was no longer breathing,” Resova told DE24 News.
Eating disorders affect at least 9% of the population worldwide and are among the deadliest mental illnesses, second only to opioid overdose, according to National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
In the U.S., the group estimates that about 28.8 million Americans will have an eating disorder in their lifetime.
So sad. RIP.