Toddler could die if she cries

Two-year-old’s condition means crying could prove fatal


It’s natural for toddlers to cry but for two-year-old Tianna Lewis McHugh, crying could be fatal.


She suffers from a rare condition that causes her to have Reflex Anoxic Seizures whenever she cries. The fits make her appear as if she has died, her skin turns white, her body stiffens, her heart stops beating and she stops breathing.

Other children with the condition react to pain, fear or fright but Tianna’s symptoms are so extreme that simply crying will cause a fit.

Tianna was diagnosed when she was 18 months old and her parents, Ceri Lewis, 23, and Andy McHugh, 30, have to spend every day making sure she doesn’t cry. Her last fit was in July and she has survived 10 seizures since her diagnosis.

Describing Tianna’s first fit Ceri, 23, said, “She looked like she had died. She went deathly grey, her lips and round her eyes were blue and her eyes rolled back in her head. I was hysterical.” Tianna had to be resuscitated by her dad.


Reflex Anoxic Seizures usually get less frequent and eventually stop so Tianna’s parents hope she will grow out of the condition when she’s older.


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