A 20 year-old girl, Kay Underwood, has cataplexy, a disorder in which almost any sort of strong emotion triggers a dramatic weakening of her muscles. Emotions such as exhilaration, anger, fear, surprise, awe and even embarrassment could cause sufferers to suddenly collapse on the spot.

What it happens is that the sufferer is left paralyzed for a few minutes, but they always retain the ability to hear what is going on around them.
Kay, the girl in question, was diagnosed with the condition five years ago. She says that people find it very odd when it happens and it’s not always easy for her to cope with strangers' reactions. She said she once collapsed more than 40 times in a single day.

Some people have the strangest reactions to her fainting. Once, when she collapsed on some stairs, a woman walked past, hit her over the head and said she should have collapsed in a more convenient place. Speak about compassion.

Kay say that she has learned to deal with her condition for these last five years. She knows when the fainting is going to occur and has learned to either fall in a comfortable position or find something to lean on.

Additionally to cataplexy, most of the sufferers develop narcolepsy - a condition that makes her drop off to sleep without warning. Unfortunately, there are no cures for either condition and theories on the causes range from brain chemical imbalances due to an immune problem or as the result of an infection.

After visiting a specialist in sleep disorders at Leicester General Hospital, Kay hopes that the new medicine will give her a normal life.