HEALTH

Teenage girl who was convinced she was a dinosaur or a monkey was just hours from death when doctors discovered her brain was under attack from a rare illness

An 18-year-old girl was convinced she was a dinosaur was just hours from death when doctors discovered her brain was under attack from a rare illness.

Lucy Evans, from Aberystwyth, who also believed she was a monkey in a zoo, was nearly sectioned because she was ‘delusional’ and ‘possessed’.

She was eventually diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis – which affects just one in 75,000 people, figures suggest. It caused vivid hallucinations. 

Doctors were originally convinced she needed immediate mental help for her delusional state, but her mother, Liza Jackson, 52 was adamant it was a physical condition.

Eventually a GP, who recognised Miss Evans’ bizarre symptoms, was able to diagnose her correctly with the fatal condition, which causes the body to attack the brain. 

When the condition was spotted, they warned she was on the brink of a coma because of the damage to her brain, and that if that happened, she would likely die.

Speaking about her ordeal for the first time, Miss Evans, who has lasting side effects from the condition, said: ‘I was hallucinating and completely delusional.   

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