Teenage girl awakes from a two month sleep and missing her GCSEs
14th June 2012
A 15 year old schoolgirl from Telford, Shropshire, has finally awoken after sleeping for the last two months. Stacey Comerford suffers from an incredibly rare condition called ‘Kleine-Levin syndrome’, a complicated neurological disorder that results in the sufferer experiencing an excessive amount of sleep and altered behaviour. The disorder has been labelled by some as the ‘Sleeping Beauty Syndrome’, and in Stacey’s case, it means she can sometimes sleep for up to 20 hours per day. Stacey initially began to experience symptoms of Kleine-Levin syndrome about a year ago and was formally diagnosed with the condition in March of this year after her mother Bernie Richards took Stacey to see a GP. The doctor thought Stacey was just being a typical ‘moody, depressed teenager’ according to Richards. It was only after a neurologist suspect a brain tumour, that the rare condition Stacey had finally became clear. It is thought there are only approximately 1,000 people around the globe who also have Kleine-Levin syndrome. In her most recent occurrence of the condition, and the longest episode so far, Stacey slept for a staggering two straight months and subsequently missed all of her GCSE exams and attained just a 30% attendance record this year. This comes after the teen was predicted to achieve As across the board in her subjects. She has also shed 12kg of body weight since her diagnosis. Stacey’s mother commented on her daughter’s plight, “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’s awake, she thinks it’s the following day. She doesn’t have any memory of it. She needs reassurance during an episode. It’s like she reverts back to being five years old. When she talks, she sounds like a child.” Despite the problems the condition has posed for Stacey and her family, doctors believe she may simply ‘grow out of it’, like other sufferers have done previously.