Lexi Reed has responded to the backlash she received for using GoFundMe to ask her 1.2 million Instagram followers to help pay for her medical bills.
The weight-loss influencer, 30, was hospitalized and was put in a medically-induced coma last month. She finally arrived home Feb. 12 after her lengthy hospital stay.
In a follow-up post, the health and fitness guru asked her fans to donate money to her cause, imploring them to help her raise $200,000.
Her fans were wondering why the Indiana-based social media star needed them to pay for her bills.
“People seem to think I’m some sort of millionaire just because the internet says so but we’re far from that,” Reed told Insider about her situation.
The website AllFamousBirthday noted that Reed’s net worth is $1.5 million; however, she told Insider that the number was wrong. “People on the internet are reading that I have all kinds of money, which is insane to me, because I clearly don’t,” she said.
Reed also claimed that her home “isn’t even paid off and we only drive one vehicle so I’m not quite sure why people are so quick to believe anything these days.”
On Feb. 10, Reed’s husband, Danny, announced on her Instagram account @fatgirlfedup that she had been rushed to the ICU a few weeks prior because her organs were failing and she had to be put on a ventilator. He also explained that the couple had no health insurance.
The influencer explained to Insider that while she possibly could have paid for health insurance, she thought it was unnecessary because she doesn’t see doctors very often.
She added that her household income has decreased since her trip to the ICU because she was unable to work or walk. She and her husband have instead tapped into their life savings to get them through.
The cash she’s making from her GoFundMe will reportedly go toward paying for medical care, blood tests and uncovered hospital expenses. The fund has since raised $70,000 and Reed said she’s “grateful and blessed” by the fans who donated, “especially when most of them haven’t met me in real life.”
Fans were skeptical about her condition and questioned the validity of her sickness. They had wondered in her GoFundMe comments section about why Reed wasn’t being more “transparent” with them.
“I absolutely wish you a speedy recovery, but these questions about transparency are valid considering your purported net worth combined with the fact you apparently didn’t see the importance of securing health insurance,” one user said. “If you’re asking for money I think you’ll have a more successful campaign by being honest about what’s been going on.”
Reed had earned her substantial following by posting about her health journey, in which she reportedly lost over 300 pounds through diet and exercise.