DCSIMG

Girl who falls asleep 30 times a day in line for £120k

Chloe Glasson gets hurtful looks from people who think she is drunk or on drugs. Picture: Deadline

Chloe Glasson gets hurtful looks from people who think she is drunk or on drugs. Picture: Deadline

  • by SARAH VESTY
 

A SCOTTISH schoolgirl who falls asleep 30 times a day could be in line for £120,000 compensation from the UK government.

Chloe Glasson’s life was turned upside down after she received a jab for swine flu – and was struck down by narcolepsy months later.

It is an incurable condition, and the 14-year-old falls asleep without warning between 25 and 30 times a day.

Chloe received her flu jab in November 2009 and campaigners believe she is one of dozens of youngsters across the UK who were affected.

The government recently admitted the jabs could trigger narcolepsy in some cases. Insiders say ministers will announce on Friday that tests are to begin on sufferers to see if they qualify for compensation.

Chloe’s case is so severe her family are convinced the government will be forced to pay up.

The teenager, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, said: “What hurts the most is when people see me in public and I’m starting to fall asleep, and they look at me as if I’m drunk or have been taking drugs.

“I can see the way they are looking at me.”

She says she also suffers mood swings and disturbing dreams as a result of her condition. “The emotions I feel are, like, so extreme. I can go from being really happy and chatty to really annoyed to really upset in a few seconds, and all it takes is one little thing to set it off.

“The dreams I have when I’m asleep are really vivid. I can feel the pain in the dream and sometimes it even feels like someone is touching me – it’s really

terrifying.”

Chloe is starting her exam year at school but has had to drop two subjects as she cannot keep up with the workload.

Her mother, Rebecca, said: “It’s just frustrating it’s taken them this long to admit there is a link. Almost everyone involved knew that was the case, and we’re just trying to prove it.

“Chloe had to get the vaccine because she is asthmatic, but now she’s left with this condition for the rest of her life.”

The schoolgirl also suffers from debilitating muscle condition cataplexy, which means she can collapse at any time.

“There are so many day-to-day things that we take for granted that she can’t do,” her mother said. “She can’t even use public transport on her own. She fell asleep on a bus once and ended up miles away.

“For us, it’s not just about the compensation. It’s about making Chloe’s life better. We want people to realise what she’s dealing with and to help make her feel more accepted.”

The UK government recently admitted the Pandemrix flu jab could have been to blame for narcolepsy in certain cases.

On Friday, the government is expected to confirm it will start testing sufferers to establish if their cases are severe enough to warrant compensation.

Families will get £120,000 through the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme if they can prove “severe” disability. It is thought that one in every 55,000 children who were given Pandemrix developed narcolepsy.

Researchers studied 75 children with the condition and found 11 had received the vaccine before their symptoms began.

Since 2011, it has not been given to people under 20 because of the narcolepsy risk.

 

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