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Girl who sneezes 12,000 times a day 'struggles to complete a sentence'

Emma Guinness

Published 
| Last updated 

Girl who sneezes 12,000 times a day 'struggles to complete a sentence'

Featured Image Credit: Inside Edition

Sneezing is an everyday part of life for most of us, but not for one girl, whose life has been blighted by a condition that causes her to sneeze up to 12,000 times a day.

Katelyn Thornley, then 12, had her world turned upside down when she suddenly began sneezing one month and simply couldn't stop. Watch below:

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Thornley, from Texas, shared her story with Inside Edition in 2015, explaining that, at first, she wondered if she'd had a bad allergic reaction.

The youngster said that it all began when she was 'walking out of a clarinet lesson and all of a sudden it kind of started like little spurts.'

She told ABC News: "It was just a few sneezes here and there, but by the time I went to bed, I had sneezed 30 times that night."

Her doctor went on to state that after three weeks of experiencing the condition, Thornley was sneezing an average of twice a minute.

But she could sneeze as many as 20 times a minute for up to 15 minutes at a time, and sometimes can't complete a sentence.

As you can imagine, this was having a seriously detrimental effect on her life.

"I can control it sometimes, but it's really painful," she explained.

Her mum Erika Hodges added: "She can't really go to school or do anything normal.

"She can't eat well, she has to sip. She can't drink. It's affected everything."

While doctors at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston tried to get to the bottom of what was wrong with Thornley, their best guess was that she was suffering from a tic.

Dr Mered Parnes said: "She had kind of a funny feeling that she described in her nose and that piece of her history is very common for tics."

Katelyn could only find relief through music. Credit: YouTube / Inside Edition
Katelyn could only find relief through music. Credit: YouTube / Inside Edition

However, while doctors were able to speculate about what was wrong, her family were still pleading for help.

Her dad Travis said: "She had an episode ... where it was 45 straight minutes

"She was screaming in pain a couple of time and all I can do is just hold her tight and wait for her to go to sleep."

But while the condition made Thornley's life a lot harder, she was able to find some relief by listening to The Beatles, which temporarily stopped her from sneezing.

While an official update has not been provided about Thornley's condition since her story aired, another girl, Lauren Johnson, who also sneezed up to 12,000 times a day managed to stop.

She sneezed constantly over a four-month period, but it gradually stopped over two days, and doctors discovered that she had a rare condition known as PANDAS.

It is an acronym for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections.

In a nutshell, the condition comes about when the body has a hyper-reaction to a bacterial infection.

You can find out more about about the condition from the National Institute of Mental Health.

According to the outlet, a child may have the condition when they are diagnosed with tics, or even OCD, after a strep infection, which may well be what happened to Thornley.

Topics: Health

Emma Guinness
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