Most of us love a good sleep. After a long day at work, there are few things more satisfying than getting comfy in your bed – in my case, preferably with a cup of hot chocolate – and waiting for Mr. Sandman to bring you a dream. But in rare cases, too much sleep can be a bad thing.
This is something which 16-year-old Emily Rowland from Georgia knows all too well. She suffers from severe epilepsy which causes her to have prolonged “staring spells”. These result in the teen sleeping for up to 20 hours a day and have had a detrimental effect on her life.
To discover how one girl suddenly began sleeping for days on end, check out the video below:
Prior to her condition worsening, Emily loved to compete in beauty pageants, but this real-life sleeping beauty had to give them up because of her illness. An even more devastating effect of it, however, is the fact that it’s meant she hasn’t attended school in two and a half years.
The 16-year-old has been hospitalized on countless occasions too, and because of the risk of her dying in her sleep, hasn’t slept alone in eight years.
Emily’s mom Brandi is now her full-time carer and said that it’s “difficult to put into words” how scary the condition makes her daughter’s life.
The first sign that there was something seriously wrong with Emily came when she began to complain about severe headaches.
This led to Emily being diagnosed with epilepsy eight years ago, however, because of the seizures this caused, she ended up developing a form of dementia, which has completely stopped her from living her life as a normal teenager.
However, the 16-year-old did manage to go to prom with her boyfriend IV Hickam, 17.
“It makes everyday activities so hard. Just trying to get makeup on is tricky – things that other teenage girls do every day with ease,” Emily said.
“My mom has to do it because I can’t stay awake to. I don’t have the coordination to do it due to the seizing either.”
“The condition also makes getting dressed difficult. There is video of me literally falling asleep standing up trying to get ready in the morning. It happens in restaurants when I am out with my boyfriend or family. It happened at school.”
To see how Emily struggles with day-to-day life, watch her in the video below:
“My mom has footage of me holding my school books as I struggled to stay awake heading out to class.”
Emily said that the effect she has struggled most with is the impact which her condition is having on her future.
“The fact that my whole life, every aspect of it, has been disrupted and my ability to go to school and learn and be an active teenager has been taken away is most upsetting,” she added.
“The hardest part is watching the life I had planned slip away. But I will never give up.”
Prior to stopping her education, Emily had been a high achiever at school, and although her symptoms manifested themselves at an early age, it was years before her condition was finally diagnosed.
“When Emily was younger, she started to complain of really bad headaches,” Brandi said. “She started to get really sleepy. Emily had always suffered on road trips but we thought it was normal car sickness.”
“It was only with hindsight that we now recognize that these things were all connected.”
“Emily began missing more school. Some days, we just could not wake her.”
“It is hard to put into words how scary it is. She misses out on activities because she is ‘asleep’ normally more than 20 hours a day.”
“She can sleep for days and will need to be put onto a drip as she is not getting the food and water she needs. When she is awake, she puts her best foot forward despite how sick she is and always puts others before herself.”
We would like to take this opportunity to wish Emily all the best for the future. Hopefully, her decision to share her story will lead to a way of her quality of life being developed in the future.
Read more: http://www.viralthread.com