Woman battles sleeping disease

A Naas woman is at the heart of a support campaign for young people suffering from narcolepsy - a lifelong condition characterised by chronic fatigue, loss of sleep and fainting.

A Naas woman is at the heart of a support campaign for young people suffering from narcolepsy - a lifelong condition characterised by chronic fatigue, loss of sleep and fainting.

Mary Bennett, who lives at Lakelands with her family, is one of the founding members of SOUND (Sufferers Of Unique Narcolepsy Disorder), set up to support young people affected by narcolepsy as a result of Pandemrix swine flu vaccine used in late 2009 and early 2010.

She became involved in the campaign as one of her family members suffers from the condition.

The drug has been withdrawn for anyone aged under 20. Narcolepsy also causes excessive sleepiness and muscle weakness and is often accompanied by nightmares, hallucinations and sleep paralysis.

Mary is organising a group to take part in the Women’s Mini Marathon on June 4 and would appreciate any help and sponsorship, from any source.

Please contact her at mebennett@eircom.net.

“It’s believed the vaccine triggers the condition by wiping out hypocretin cells in the brain which regulate sleep and 30% of population are predisposed to the condition.

“Children and teenagers are living on stimulants to keep them awake during the day and you’d have to wonder about the long term side effects,” said Mary.