Meet the real-life 'Sleeping Beauty' who didn't wake up for six months
A young woman in Britain is the victim of a baffling condition that has robbed her off her waking hours
Beth Goodier says that she finds it annoying that her condition is called Sleeping Beauty syndrome because unlike Princess Aurora, who is woken up with a kiss from her lover in the fairy tale, nothing can stir her from the drudgery of sleep
At 22, Beth Goodier from Cheshire, Britain, should have finished university and started training as a child psychologist. Her brilliant performance at school only foretold a bright future.
But, five years ago, close to her 17th birthday, Beth suddenly fell asleep and didn’t wake up properly for six months. For 22 hours a day, the young teenager slept 22 hours a day, only waking in a dream-like trance to eat a little food and drink and go to the toilet.
In the past five years, Beth’s mother, Janine, told Daily Mail that her daughter has been asleep 75 per cent of the time.
The young woman is one of the few in the world to be diagnosed with the Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS), popularly known as Sleeping Beauty syndrome. But, unlike the eponymous fairy tale beauty, Beth’s story is far from dreamy.
Beth with her boyfriend Dan, who she met during an 'awake' phase three years ago. PICS/TWITTER
Currently, Beth is two-and-a half months into another deep sleep episode. Nothing – not drugs, loud noises, pleading or cajoling – will wake her. Her life is spent asleep on the sofa or bed. On the rare occasion she leaves her home to see a doctor, she is pushed in a wheelchair because she is too tired to walk. "It is like night and day,” her mother says. “She might wake up tomorrow, catch up with her friends and get her hair done. But, no one knows when she might fall asleep again."
"It is like someone has pressed pause on my life. I was lucky to be awake for my 18th birthday and I’ve only miss one Christmas so far," Beth told The Mirror, in an earlier interview. "But I’ve missed so many birthdays, I’ve lost count. It might seem trivial to other people but these are really important milestones in growing up."
Sleeping Beauty syndrome is a rare neurological condition that mainly hits teenagers – the average age it strikes is 16 – and lasts around 13 years. It destroys young people’s hopes of passing exams, going to university or forging a career
Water activist Amla Ruia speaks to mid-day