Stacey Comerford from Shropshire in the UK is one of just 1000 people alive to suffer from Kleine-Levin syndrome, commonly known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome.The disorder means she sleeps for 20 hours a day for weeks at a time.When she awakes during these 'episodes', her mother Bernie says she's in a trance, barely able to sip water or get any food down.Since being diagnosed, the straight A student has lost 12kg, and has only been able to attend 30% of her classes.
She is just one of 1,000 people worldwide to suffer from the disorder.Her mother Bernie Richards, 53, said: 'There’s never any warning. I’ve even found her fast asleep on the kitchen floor.When she’s in an episode, she might get up to go to the toilet or get a drink but she’s not awake. I call it sleep mode.'When she wakes, she thinks it’s the following day. She doesn’t have any memory of it.'During an episode, Stacey can be in a deep sleep for more than 20 hours a day. She only rises to go to toilet or sip water in a trace-like state.Amazingly in this state she is up just long enough for her mother to give her some food before she goes back to bed.
Comerford first experienced this rare syndrome about a year ago, in March. Doctors who analysed her case claimed that she was a moody teenager. Her mother took Comerford to the Princess Royal Hospital where doctors believed that she might have brain tumor. They took a brain scan and also checked for narcolepsy and epilepsy. But they were stunned to find that she did not have any such disorder.
Stacey's mother was even investigated by the local education authority because they had accused her of keeping Stacey off school when in fact Stacey just couldn't wake up to go to her lessons.Since her diagnosis, Stacey has to take high dosages of a stimulant drug called modafinil which helps to keep her awake. The drug is improving her quality of life and making her more awake.
Stacey's condition has forced her to miss her birthday, nine exams and she has even slept through holidays.
Similar Case :
Mitchell Baldwin, aged 14, has been diagnosed with Kleine-Levin Syndrome, For weeks at a time Mitchell, from Arbourthorne, will sleep for 22 hours a day, waking up just to eat before he falls asleep again.Mitchell has missed exams and slept through holidays.And his parents, mindless with worry, do not know where to turn.“Most of the doctors we have spoken to just have not heard of it,” said dad Wayne, 31.“Even the top neurologists at Sheffield Children’s Hospital do not really know what to do, and there doesn’t seem to be a cure.”But three weeks ago Mitchell started falling asleep at school and his friends realised something was wrong.“He slept for 12 days this time,” said Wayne. “He just sleeps and sleeps. You shake him and he just can’t wake up.“When he does wake up he just eats everything he can get his hands on and goes to sleep again.”