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Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Pair get sleep disorder treatment
Sleep apnoea monitor
A monitor alarm is used to protect sufferers
A brother and sister are flying out to the United States in the hope of finding a cure for a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder.

Richard Williams, 19, and 11-year-old Rachel, from Llanfairpwll, in Anglesey, both suffer from sleep apnoea, which means they stop breathing during their sleep.

Rachel Williams
Rachel Williams: At risk

Rachel has to wear a warning monitor, which alerts her parents when her breathing stops, allowing them to wake her up.

Now the pair are seeking help from a specialist clinic in Columbus, Ohio, after campaigners raised 15,000 to pay for the trip.

Both Richard and Rachel are affected up to 30 times every night, although Richard's condition is different and he is able to wake himself up.

Rachel's condition prevents her from spending the night with friends and says it has affected her school work.

Richard Williams
Richard Williams: Disrupts school work

Her brother also finds it has a big impact on his life.

"I have had problems with school and college and I can't go out with my friends as drinking is a big trigger," he said.

Delay

The US trip had to be delayed after a complaint about the fund raising appeal was made to the police.

But an investigation showed that there was nothing amiss.

Mandy Gruffydd, one of the fund raisers, said: "It has been a slow and hard job to raise the money but we've been succsesful.

"People had said that we had deceived them but the investigation from the police showed that they were happy.

"I don't know why someone could be so cruel to a child that is in need of a very importanat operation.

"The complaint has meant that the trip is going ahead later than expected.

"Rachel was due to fly to America in April - by now she should have had the treatment and be starting school."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' Sue Charles
"Rachel could die if she wasn't woken up."
See also:

18 Jan 02 | Health
04 Jan 01 | Health
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