Monday, 2 November 2015

This woman collapses every time she laughs

Comedy is no laughing matter for a mother-of -six, Dawn Jones as a fit of laughter could kill her.

She suffers from two neurological disorders- Narcolepsy and Cataplexy. Both conditions are capable of causing a temporary loss of consciousness.

 Cataplexy causes an abrupt loss of voluntary muscle tone--as severe as total physical collapse and it may be triggered by strong emotions like laughter while narcolepsy results in excessive daytime sleepiness.

As a result of the disorders, Dawn's often in the hospital with head injuries and is forced to take several medicines daily to stabilise her condition.

She told the Sunday People: 'Every time I laugh hard or get upset, I collapse and my head falls forward like a rag doll's.'

Her dream to watch her favorite comedian, Lee Evans perform live may never be fulfilled because she 'could die from the experience.' Each time she watches him on DVD, she collapses several times.

She said, 'I watch the DVD and rewind it every five minutes once I recover.'

'It's scary because I'm awake but I can't move until my body kicks back into life. It can last for a few minutes or half an hour.'

'I've had to learn to hold back my emotions. Some days I can laugh more than others, but it's changed my whole life.'

She even collapsed on her first date with now-husband Rhys, 42, after he told her a joke and she burst into laughter then fell and hit her head on a table at her daughter Amy's 16th birthday.

Having narcolepsy also means Dawn is unable to stay awake some mornings to take her five-year-old son Sam to school.

At weekends Dawn stops taking her medication to give her liver and kidneys a rest and relies on her husband Rhys to look after her.

She told the People: 'I can't even shower without Rhys being there to make sure I don't pass out. It's robbed me of my dignity.'

If he knows she is going to laugh, he has to make sure she is prepared.

She said: 'Rhys wanted to show me a funny clip on YouTube while I was eating. He told me to put my knife and fork down and finish my mouthful. Then he played me the video and of course I collapsed.

'I would sell my kidney for a cure, I'm so desperate. I feel like I've had half of my life stolen but I try not to dwell on it too much as it makes me cry.'

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