Girl With ‘Sleeping Beauty Syndrome’ Takes Month-Long Naps

girl sleepingLily Clarke is a lot like most 21-year-olds. She goes to college, she attends parties, she has a bunch of friends. In fact, the only thing that really differentiates Lily from other kids her age is the fact that she naps for periods of one month at a time. So, I guess the word "nap" would be a bit of an understatement.

Lily has a rare disorder called Klein-Levy Syndrome (KLS), or, as it's colloquially referred to as, Sleeping Beauty Disease. She was first diagnosed with the disorder last year after she fell asleep at a restaurant after a dinner and didn't wake up more than an hour a day for the entire next month.

Sound scary? It really is.

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Lily has missed school exams, Christmas and New Year's celebrations, and even her own birthday party, which had over 100 people on the guest list, because she fell asleep several days beforehand. Before Lily is about to go into "sleep mode," as her family calls it, she says that she feels like she is in a dream, her head hurts, and she becomes extremely tired for the two days prior. And that's not even the scary part.

Doctors just can't seem to figure out a cure for this poor girl. Lily has undergone a battery of tests, and experts have given her a barrage of brain-stimulating drugs. But nothing seems to work.

How is Lily going to go through life like this? You really can't hold a job -- or a relationship -- if you're MIA for a few months out of the year. My heart breaks for this girl, who has no shot at a normal life until she finds a cure. Could you imagine falling asleep for one month at a time? You would miss so much.

There are certain diseases we're always hearing about, because, unfortunately, they're pervasive. Cancer, AIDS, leukemia are some that come to mind. And then there are the disorders we all know of because they're equally popular, or they've been the butt of someone's joke at some point or another. Asthma and narcolepsy, to name a few. I feel bad not only that Lily has this disorder in general, but that it's so rare. It makes it harder for people to relate to, and less likely for doctors to find a cure. Hopefully, it's something that she'll grow out of.

How crazy is Klein-Levy Syndrome?

 

Image via arhadetruit/Flickr

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