The 17-year-old Colombian Sharik Tovar has been diagnosed with the rare Kleine-Levin or “clean sleeper” syndrome. This means that once she is in the land of dreams, she can sleep for up to two months at a time. Her mother is now begging the government for help.
The problems started when little Tovar was barely two years old. The little girl began to sleep longer and longer with episodes up to 48 hours straight. The most prolonged period that the beautiful sleeper spent in dreamland lasted no less than two months.
How is that possible? Sharik Tovar suffers from Kleine-Levin syndrome or periodic sleeplessness, a neurological disorder that occurs in young people. During a period of sleep, it is not uncommon to sleep in one go for almost 24 hours. People suffering from it can be woken up for a few hours in between (or in the worst case, woken up), leaving just enough time to eat and go to the toilet. Most ‘outgrow’ the syndrome and no longer suffer from it once they are about thirty years old.
After Sharik Tovar was diagnosed with the rare syndrome, her mother gave up her job to look after her daughter. During an episode of sleepiness, the mother wants to prevent her daughter from being home alone. Because when she wakes up, she is perplexed and disoriented. She often does not immediately recognize her own mother’s face.
Furthermore, she wants to ensure that her daughter gets enough nutrients, so she mixes food and then feeds the mash to her daughter. Because the situation is far from ideal, the mother is now begging for help from the government. She requires more financial support and “urgent” neurological treatment. Moreover, she can no longer pay the rent for her house because she had to quit her job. So she also needs some support from the government.
There are barely 40 people worldwide who suffer from the neurological disorder.