Mystery illness turns lively woman’s life upside down in just 13 weeks

�Thirteen weeks ago Carly Torrington was a lively young woman just starting to build her career after leaving college, and looking forward to summer holidays with her best friend.

Now, the 23-year-old lies helpless in a hospital bed, reliant on her family and hospital staff to feed and dress her.

Best friend Michelle Catterick has told the Recorder of the hell her friend is enduring, as she bids to raise awareness of the rarely known condition mitochondrial disorder.

Carly’s nightmare began in March when she collapsed in the bedroom of her Newbury Park home.

Michelle explained how Carly, who she met while at Seven Kings High School six years ago, has gone rapidly downhill since the blackout.

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“She was discharged from hospital after three weeks, and the consultants were going to call her back for more tests,” said Michelle.

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“But just a week after she got home, she had a series of epileptic fits and went back into hospital, where she took six weeks to recover.”

While consultants scratched their heads trying to get to the bottom of Carly’s mystery illness, her recovery was knocked back yet again with a debilitating stroke, which left her temporarily blind, unable to walk, and suffering short term memory loss.

“If we tell her something, chances are she will forget it the next day,” said Michelle, 23, of Seven Kings.

“The consultants have said she shouldn’t be told exactly what’s wrong with her, because the strain could cause her to relapse. She hasn’t really been asking, which is a blessing because I don’t know what we’d say.”

Carly is in the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.

Michelle said: “We expect her to make a full recovery and leave hospital soon. But we don’t know to what extent this could limit her life.”

Mitochondrial disorder is a neurological condition which affects an estimated one in 4,000 people, and is thought to be genetic. Symptoms range from lack of energy and headaches to strokes, and from mild to fatal.

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