Girl sneezes 12,000 times a day, 20 times per minute
(ABC) -- A 12-year-old girl can't stop sneezing. She sneezes about 12,000 times per day.
Katelyn Thornley, the sound of her sneezing has become painfully familiar.
Three weeks ago, Katelyn began sneezing and she hasn't stopped.
"I was walking out of a clarinet lesson and all of a sudden it kind of started like little spurts. It was just a few sneezes here and there, but by the time I went to bed, I had sneezed 30 times that night," she said.
Katelyn is now averaging about 20 sneezes per minute.
"I can control it sometimes, but it's really painful."
And so far, doctors at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston haven't been able to figure out exactly what is causing the uncontrollable sneezing, referring to the condition as a "tic."
"She had kind of a funny feeling that she described in her nose and that piece of her history is very common for tics," said Dr. Mered Parnes.
It's not the first time doctors have seen cases like this? Some believe tics may be triggered in the brain, by something stressing the child out? Ten percent of all children are affected by tics.
"She can't really go to school or do anything normal. Can't eat well, she has to sip, she can't drink. It's affected everything," said Katelyn's mother Erika Hodges.
"She had an episode yesterday where it was 45 straight minutes. She was screaming in pain a couple of times and all I can do is just hold her tight and wait for her to go to sleep," said Katelyn's father Travis Thornely.
Katelyn just wants to get back to 7th grade.
"This has taken a huge toll on my life I want nothing more than for this to end. I just want it to be gone for good," Katelyn said.