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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The seven-year-old boy with such severe narcolepsy that he couldn't kick a ball without falling asleep

- Reece Williams slept for up to 23 hours and fell over 25 times a day

- Doctors thought it was virus until father filmed him for real diagnosis

- Now Reese can stop falling asleep after taking controversial drug Xyrem

A boy of seven suffered from such severe narcolepsy that he couldn’t even kick a football without the sleeping disorder causing him to doze off.

Reece Williams, who fell over up to 25 times a day and sometimes slept for 23 hours, was finally diagnosed after his father filmed him repeatedly collapsing into slumber.

Now, thanks to controversial drug Xyrem, which is only formally licensed to treat adults, he is at last able to play and sit in class without sudden falling asleep.

Reece was five when he began suffering symptoms of narcolepsy and its sister condition cataplexy, a sudden weakening of the muscles.

Both can be triggered by strong emotions like excitement, laughter, surprise or anger. In Luke’s case his problems got worse over time.

His mother, Chantelle Burrows, said Reece went from a loving, happy-go-lucky boy to being moody and aggressive.


Narcolepsy is a disease of the central nervous system suffered by around 2million people worldwide, including 30,000 Britons and 125,000 Americans.

Excessive daytime sleepiness is the main symptom. Although 70 per cent of those with the condition, also suffer from cataplexy – a sudden loss of muscle tone.

Other sufferers included Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, pictured above, and Dad’s Army actor Arthur Lowe.

While narcolepsy usually begins in teenagers or young adults, it is not uncommon in children.

The first symptom is nearly always severe sleepiness.


p/s: So better control your sleep. Enough sleep and more productive guys.

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