Doctors in Russia are battling to save the lives of twin teenagers who are critically ill from anorexia after 'their modelling school told them to reduce weight'.
The 14-year-old models, Masha and Dasha Ledeneva, were rushed to intensive care in Moscow after a warning that they had become 'living corpses' who no-one wanted to help.
It comes after, Maria Kokhno, 29, a campaigner for eating disorder victims, went public with a desperate call for medical help for the pair who were at risk of 'lying and dying at home' after doctors 'refused' to intervene.
Earlier, they had both gone into a coma for three days at another hospital but after they came round were allowed home even though they were desperately ill, said Kokhno, herself a model and reality show star who has overcome anorexia.
At the time Dasha had reduced to 36 kg (5st 9lbs) and her sister Masha to 40 kg (6st 4lbs).
The already-slim teenage models had been told they should reduce weight 'so their cheekbones were visible' in order to be given more shoots, said Kokhno.
Dasha's (left) weight had reduced to 36kg when she was taken in while sister Masha (right) weighed just 40kg
As a result of her plea the girls were rushed to a hospital in Moscow, 265 miles north of their home in industrial city Lipetsk.
'Nobody was keen to help the girls, their mother went here and there, hospitals were rejecting them,' said Kokhno.
'Masha can stand up but Dasha is only lying and cannot even lift her head,' said Kokhno.
'The mother contacted TV presenter Elena Malysheva and the Nutrition Institute in Moscow but nobody wanted to deal with 'living corpses'.
Kokhno said the family reached out to her 'in despair' leading to her emotional appeal to assist the girls.
TV channel Moscow24 showed Kokhno with the girls as they entered hospital in Moscow and quoted a doctor saying the medical task 'is to rescue them from a condition when their heart may stop beating at any moment'.
Kakhno said: 'Dasha is slimmer than her sister, Masha has always been a bit more plump.
'But still both twins were told in the (modelling school) to lose five kilos (11lbs) of weight each, so their cheekbones were visible. Both were about 50 kilos (7 st 12 lbs) then.
'The girls began to diet, they did not eat after 5pm and ate only steamed food. Gradually, their portions and the number of their meals went down.
'Dasha, who has been perfect in everything, lost her weight down to 36kg. Masha tried to catch up with her lost her weight to 40kg.
'It was the critical weight for each girl.'
The girls were given emergency treatment at a specialist hospital in Moscow after a campaign because doctors 'refused to intervene'
She said: 'The sisters were taken to hospital where they injected them with tranquilisers, so Dasha was in a coma for three days. When she woke up, their mother took both girls back home.'
Kokhno said the case had left her 'constantly crying' for two days when she first heard about the girls' plight.
She has already helped other teenagers with anorexia and launched her appeal saying: 'I want to find people who will help to rescue the girls who are lying and dying at home.
'Their mother gave up her job and she is at home with both girls now.'
Their distraught mother Natalia Ledeneva said: 'They were told Dasha's body shape is quite okay but Masha should get rid of couple of kilos. The girls heard it in their own way.
'These children have always been perfect in everything, so they decided to be perfect here too. It all happened very quickly.
'At first, they began to reject (food). They said – "we won't have anything sweet tonight" or "we won't have any fruit" or "we will have only salad".
'They would have one cutlet and two spoonfuls of buckwheat for dinner. I was running after both of them, trying to persuade (them to eat). I thought they would hear what I was saying.
'But it is that kind of disease when they do not hear you, the disease was progressing.'
Both students were reportedly told in their modelling school to lose five kilograms so their cheekbones would show more
Fighting back tears she said: 'Whatever I did, however I tried to persuade them, it led to nothing.'
Alexey Dobrovolsky, a well-known television doctor in Russia, said: 'At first the person loses and loses weight, and finally when the brains switch on, they stop doing it.'
But the body had already 'transformed'.
'Now whatever the human being wants to do, all the biochemical processes in his body are already ruined.
'As a result, we get the kind of weight both girls have now. The patients are in intensive care.
'The task of the doctors is to rescue them from a condition when their heart may stop beating at any moment. '
Kokhno, formerly a star of the Dom-2 reality show, warned: 'Please pay attention to your relatives.
'Maybe someone close to you is quickly losing weight? It is important to discover anorexia as early as possible.'
The twins' modelling school in Lipsetsk has not commented.