Melissa was a short term character who was a major part in the eating disorder storyline. She encouraged Hannah Ashworth to lose weight with her and became extremely ill with Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia, she took Hannah down with her and they both suffered from the disorders.
Melissa's physical condition worsened before Hannah's, as she was already anorexic while Hannah was still bulimic, and bulimia rarely leads to the kind of weight loss caused by anorexia. At one point she told Hannah that her BMI was 16.4, which is seriously underweight and almost emaciated.
She was admitted to hospital after collapsing next to Hannah from severe malnourishment and was force fed in hospital through a tube. Hannah visited her in hospital and was shocked to see how seriously ill Melissa had become.
Hannah broke Melissa out of hospital because she was scared the tubes would make Melissa put on weight. They returned to Hannah's house to collect some things, but before they could escape together, Melissa suffered a heart attack and died in Hannah's arms.
This was the first instance of a character dying of anorexia in a British soap. It drew attention to the life-threatening nature of eating disorders.