Mother's battle to help daughter conquer 'horrific' Tourette's
- Credit: Jane King
A teenager who is "tormented and tortured" by "debilitating" illness Tourette's syndrome could pioneer new treatment to help other sufferers.
Georgia King, 19, who grew up in Norwich, was diagnosed with Tourette's age 11 and her vocal and motor attacks can last from last anything from 20 minutes up to nearly five hours.
Tourette's is a condition of the nervous system and Miss King receives daily medication as well as one-to-one support from a care home in Dereham, where she lives.
Her mother, Jane King, from Plumstead Road in Thorpe St Andrew, is calling for greater awareness of the condition and fighting for other sufferers to have access to different treatments not currently available to Tourette's patients on the NHS.
She has launched an online fundraiser on GoFundMe to raise £70,000 so Miss King can have deep brain stimulation - a four-hour operation - which is only available privately in the UK.
Ms King, 43, who works at Coltishall Cosmetic Clinic, said: "The tics will leave her on the floor and not in control of her body. She will pull her hair and punch herself.
"People need to be made aware of Tourette's. It isn't funny and is debilitating for many. Georgia suffers and is tormented and tortured by it. It is horrific."
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The cosmetic expert added deep brain stimulation was available on the NHS for Parkinson's disease patients but not yet for people with Tourette's.
Deep brain stimulation involves electrodes being placed within certain areas of the brain which produces electrical impulses.
Ms King described her daughter as amazing and added: "We know it isn't a cure but it could help improve her quality of life. If we can get people more aware of this treatment they can stand up and tell the NHS they are suffering.
"Georgia doesn't deserve this. We want her to have a life and be happy."
The 19-year-old is a keen singer, which stops her from having tics, and is studying two days a week in hairdressing.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which publishes guidelines for health treatments in England, was approached for comment.
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What is Tourette's syndrome?
Tourette's syndrome is a neurological condition that causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics.
It usually starts in childhood but the tics and other symptoms usually improve after several years and sometimes go away completely, according the NHS.
Tics are the main symptom of Tourette's and they usually appear in childhood between the ages of two and 14.
Around six years is the average age when tics begin.
Physical and vocal tics associated with the condition include blinking, jumping, jerking of the head or limbs, grunting, animal sounds and repeating a sound, word or phrase.
Emma McNally, chief executive of Tourette's Action, the leading charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland working on the syndrome, said: "It’s shocking that a condition so prevalent is still so badly misunderstood."