New Castle News

Local News

November 13, 2012

‘Sleeping Beauty Syndrome’: New Castle native on TV today to discuss her medical condition

NEW CASTLE — Nicole Delien’s mom hopes that for her daughter, 2012 will be a Christmas to remember.

However, that could be a tall order. Nicole can recollect only three of the past 10 Yuletides.

The 17-year-old former New Castle resident suffers from Kleine-Levin Syndrome. When an episode strikes, she will sleep between 17 and 19 hours a day for anywhere from 32 to 64 days.

Because of that, the condition sometimes is called Sleeping Beauty Syndrome.

“But this is no fairy-tale disease,” said Nicole’s mom, Vicki, who lived in Mahoningtown with her daughter before moving to Pittsburgh in November 2002. “She cannot get up, she can’t dress herself, she can’t put her makeup on, can’t do her hair or bathe herself.

“She misses big chunks of life. She’s missed a lot of Christmases and Thanksgivings due to this. She’s only been able to attend three Christmases out of the last 10 years.”

During an episode, Vicki Delien said, her daughter will get up to go to the bathroom, and she will eat. However, Vicki describes these periods as a “sort of sleep-walking mode.”

“Her eyes are all glassy, in a daze; she doesn’t know what’s going on around her,” Nicole’s mom said. “And she tends to eat a lot. She’ll go to the fridge and whatever she’s craving at the time, if it’s right in front of her, that’s what she’s eating, no matter what the amount is.

“One time, she ate almost three pounds of fudge. I try to feed her sometimes, but even if it’s something she likes, she might say, ‘Ew, I don’t like this,’ because at that time, she might be craving something else.”


Nicole was just six years old when her first episodes struck. At the time, they would reduce her to an infantile state lasting five to seven days.

Doctors were puzzled, and in the end, it took 25 months before one Pittsburgh physician finally hit upon Kleine-Levin Syndrome.

That’s the main reason that Nicole, Vicki and her husband, Harry, will appear at 4 p.m. today on The Jeff Probst Show. The syndicated talk program, which airs on WMPY My Pittsburgh TV, will be featuring people with rare diseases.

“I just want people to be aware of this,” Vicki said. “It took us 25 months to find the right doctor to diagnose her with Kleine-Levin Syndrome.

“I know there are so many other families out there going through the same thing, being told that it’s bi-polar or that it’s just being done for attention. That is not the case. This is a true sleep disorder, and people need to know it exists.”

Nowadays, extended periods of sleep have replaced regression as the syndrome’s primary symptom. However it has manifested itself, though, KLS has impacted Nicole’s family as well as the teen herself.

“I’ve put myself through school and I’ve lost externships over this, even jobs,” Vicki said. “I can’t hold down a job because I need to be here for her. We’re now a family of five with one income.

“When she does go into these episodes, we become almost homebound because it’s hard to get her up and get out of the house for any family activities or for activities my other children are in. It’s hard and it puts a lot of stress on the younger two kids (7-year-old Cameron and 11-year-old Savannah) as well.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 06.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Clifton Flat hosts annual egg hunt

    With three crosses standing outside Clifton Flat Alliance Church on Saturday, there could be no mistaking that it was Easter.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Pride.tiff New Castle Schools: Second-grader recognized for reading 200 books

    Alexandra Browne of New Castle could very well be Lawrence County’s youngest bookworm. The petite, curly-haired 8-year-old was summoned to the New Castle school board meeting Monday with her parents, Rochelle and Ted Browne, to receive the district’s Pride and Promise award for April.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hilcorp a partner in vo-tech shale course

    A shale drilling company’s contribution to the vo-tech school will help fund a curriculum for careers in that field.

    April 19, 2014

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery: Church’s tradition of Easter countdown continues

    Easter is keenly anticipated by Christians around the globe. But perhaps nowhere is its arrival more heralded than at Independent Methodist Church.

    April 18, 2014 11 Photos

  • Lawrence county receives state grant

    Lawrence County will receive state funding to update its comprehensive plan. The county will receive $47,000, in the form of a Municipal Assistance Grant, from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, according to state Sen. Elder J. Vogel.

    April 18, 2014

  • Mahoning Township sets spring cleanup

    Mahoning Township will have its spring cleanup the weeks of April 28 and May 5. Residents should place items at the curb the day before their scheduled collection. They should be neatly bagged or bundled.

    April 18, 2014

  • Vo-Skills.jpg VoTech team claims silver medal state honors

    The Lawrence County Career and Technical Center boasts a team of disciplined, well-spoken winners. The school’s SkillsUSA team, comprised of 21 students, stood against other schools from throughout Pennsylvania last week in Hershey.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Columbia Gas announces pipeline replacement work

    Columbia Gas has scheduled a pipeline replacement project for New Castle. Beginning this month, the company will replace approximately 2,800 feet of existing steel pipe along Eastbrook and Paper Mill roads and Cascade Street. The project is expected to be completed in July.

    April 17, 2014

  • ESB Financial reports earnings increase

    ESB Financial Corp., parent company of ESB Bank, has announced an increase in earnings for the quarter ended March 31.

    April 17, 2014

  • Author.tiff Arthur the author: Children’s writer/illustrator visits Neshannock Elementary

    A story about a grandmother and her granddaughter flying over a city grew from the vivid imagination of children’s author Arthur Dorros. “Abuela” also spurred the creativity of students at Neshannock Memorial Elementary School who had eagerly awaited a visit from Dorros yesterday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo