2-Year-Old Girl's Rare Illness Means She Could Die If She Cries

Little Tianna Lewis McHugh is the girl who cannot cry — because it could kill her.

The 2-year-old suffers from a rare condition called reflex anoxic seizure, which means tears could trigger a fatal fit.

Her parents, Ceri Lewis and Andy McHugh, face a daily battle to make sure she doesn't cry. Tianna looks as though she's died when she has a terrifying seizure — her skin goes 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 has a form so extreme that simply crying can trigger a fit. She was diagnosed with the condition at 18 months and has since survived 10 seizures, the most serious of which lasted two hours.

Lewis, 23, an hotel receptionist from Wrexham, North Wales, said she was hysterical when she saw her daughter's first fit.

"I picked her up out of her high chair and put her on the floor and she cried for seconds and then she looked like she had died," Lewis said. "She went a deathly gray, her lips and around her eyes were blue and her eyes rolled back in her head. When she has the fits, she stops breathing and looks dead because she stiffens up and her back arches."

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