She was withering away before their eyes.
They watched her slog through marathon workouts at the Green Hills YMCA, her emaciated body leaning on the rails of the Stairmaster.
Others at the gym also were watching her decline and wondering what to do. Was she really anorexic? Was it some other medical condition? They contemplated the potential awkwardness of making a wrong assumption, the rudeness of violating someone's privacy and the danger of doing nothing.
Then nine of them staged an intervention.
If they had waited any longer, Lauryn Lax would have died. When they took her to a hospital on an August morning in 2011, doctors thought they might have to implant a pacemaker. Anorexia nervosa had weakened Lax to the point that her heart was struggling to beat.