Teenager collapses whenever she laughs due to rare muscle paralysis
This girl has had to curb her chuckling after developing a medical condition that makes her faint when she laughs.
Jordan has had to curb her chuckling after developing a medical condition that makes her faint when she laughs. (Photo: ASIA WIRE/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA).

This girl has had to curb her chuckling after developing a medical condition that makes her faint when she laughs.

In the summer of 2016, office assistant Victoria Coomer (50), from Indiana in the US, started to notice that her daughter, Jordan (15), was sleeping a lot.

But she attributed it to her just growing up.

However, it continued to get worse as time went on – to the point where Jordan would fall asleep in class at school, at the dinner table and while doing her homework.

“Her face would get droopy, she’d slur her words, her jaw would go slack and she was having hallucinations and nightmares,” Victoria explained.


“It affected her life very much,” Victoria added. “She didn't want to do anything with her friends because she was tired all the time, she didn't want to play any kind of sports, she was missing out on life because she was sleeping all the time.”

The worried mom decided to take her daughter to see several specialists to figure out what was wrong with her.

All the tests ran by doctors ran came back negative but in March 2017, following numerous visits to the hospital, Victoria was informed that her daughter had narcolepsy, a long-term neurological disorder.

The disorder causes a decreased ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles.

But the youngster was dealt another blow that year. While Jordan and her family were all laughing about something, she suddenly collapsed on the ground.

She reportedly regained consciousness after 20 seconds but has since suffered similar incidents.

Jordan has been diagnosed with cataplexy, a condition in which strong emotion or laughter causes a person to suffer sudden physical collapse.

“When we received her diagnosis, we were both scared and relieved,” Victoria said. “We were relieved that we finally had a diagnosis for what was wrong but also scared because we didn't know what this would mean for her in the future.”

Wary that her daughter would never be able to live a normal life, the mom was overcome with emotion. “I started crying. The doctor told us that it’s manageable and that she could still lead a normal life. It’s managed with medication.”

Despite her complex condition, the teen hasn’t let it stop her from going after her dreams and is active in sports such as basketball, cross country and horse riding.

“Adjusting to the disease has been hard. At first I was very upset and just couldn’t figure out why it had to be me,” Jordan said.

“I have dreams and want to do so much, and to learn that you have a disease that will ultimately affect the rest of your life and what you do was extremely hard,” the teen added.

“Over time, though, I’ve come to accept it and embrace it. I’ve definitely still got some work to do, but it’ll come. I’m a positive person, therefore instead of looking at the negative of the disease I started looking at the positives.”

Mother and daughter now raise awareness for both cataplexy and narcolepsy because the conditions are linked as it’s rare to have cataplexy without narcolepsy.


Sources: Magazine Features

Read more: 

Local boy born with birth defect at last gets to go to school – nine surgeries later

Heartwarming moment six-year-old’s classmates give him standing ovation after beating leukaemia

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy

Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.