British boy with sleep disorder finally stays awake for first Christmas in 4 years

Connor Prince has Kleine-Levin Syndrome, a rare sleep disorder that makes him sleep for three and a half months at a time.
Connor Prince has Kleine-Levin Syndrome, a rare sleep disorder that makes him sleep for three and a half months at a time.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/METRO

LONDON - You've heard of a leap year, which happens once every four years. What about a leap Christmas?

That's essentially what happened to 12-year-old Connor Prince from Toton, Nottinghamshire.

The boy has Kleine-Levin Syndrome, a rare sleep disorder. He sleeps for three and a half months at a time, causing him to miss the past few Christmases, the Metro reported.

His mother, identified in reports as Dana, 44, said: "The last three years have put such a strain on the family, as we haven't been able to plan any holidays."

According to the report, his family were "over the moon" when he stayed awake on Dec 25 to play on his Harry Potter chess board.

Connor, who was sickly as a child, first fell asleep for a week when he was nine, and his parents were unable to wake him up. From then on, he fell asleep for a number of days or longer, every few weeks.

During the prolonged slumbers, he would stay awake for a few minutes at a time to go to the bathroom or have a drink, albeit in a daze.

In September 2013, Dana took voluntary redundancy as a lecturer to look after him, reported the Metro.

Despite her doctor's advice that Connor had chronic fatigue syndrome and just needed to be forced awake, she suspected there was something more.

In the days leading up to his sleeping episodes, Connor's appetite would grow and his limbs would ache. She researched the symptoms online and came across Kleine-Levin Syndrome.

She requested for Connor to visit the sleep clinic at Nottingham City Hospital, where he was diagnosed.

While it felt fantastic to finally know what was going on, it was also "a bitter pill to swallow", she told the Metro.

Dana, who hopes her son will grow out of the medical condition, said: "What upsets Connor is the bits that he misses, he feels so isolated and alone. He's losing so much for his life, it's devastating."