There are few things as wonderful and rejuvenating as a good night’s sleep, but unfortunately, this means the opposite is also true. Chronic insomnia, and the constant exhaustion that comes with it, is extremely frustrating. That’s what makes this story so terrifying.
Australian siblings Hayley and Lachlan Webb share the genes for a rare disorder that eventually makes sleep completely impossible — and worse, it’s almost always fatal…
Queensland, Australia, siblings Hayley and Lachlan Webb, aged 30 and 28 respectively, have always been similar to each other, but they have one terrifying thing in common that they’d both rather not…
The pair have the genes for Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), a rare genetic disorder that keeps the brain from being able to fall asleep. About one in 10 million people have the strange disorder, and sadly it’s always fatal…
The insomnia is hereditary and both the siblings’ mother and grandmother suffered and died from FFI at ages 61 an 69, respectively.
Their mother only had six months between her first symptoms and diagnosis and her death. Toward the end she suffered full-blown hallucinations and was no longer able to care for herself or function properly.
The disease starts with feelings of exhaustion that don’t go away no matter how much one sleeps, and then sleeping itself gradually becomes more and more difficult until it stops happening at all. Thankfully, at this time, neither Hayley nor Lachlan has begun to show symptoms.
The two are enrolled in a groundbreaking sleep study being performed at the University of California, San Francisco. While there is no cure for FFI at this time, Hayley and Lachlan hope their participation in this research can lead to one.
The siblings are determined to live life to the fullest before they begin to show symptoms of their disease, and they are positive that advances in medicine will be able to break the cycle of Fatal Familial Insomnia that’s plagued their family. We certainly hope so!
How scary for Hayley and Lachlan. Hopefully the sleep studies they’re participating in can finally lead to a cure for this troubling disorder.
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”