Disease that stops you ever sleeping again…then kills you: Something’s Killing Me examines FFI

Reporter Hayley Webb, who inherited Fatal Familial Insomnia, on Something’s Killing Me

Imagine insomnia so bad that you are left delirious from exhaustion — and which never gets better until eventually you die.

On tonight’s Something’s Killing Me, the deadly inherited sleep disorder Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) is examined in several specific cases.

This rare disease can occur suddenly in the middle of a person’s life, preventing normal sleep which leads to a deterioration of mental function and loss of coordination.

It causes bouts of paranoia and a sense of constantly being in a twilight dream-state with no relief.

It’s a living nightmare for those afflicted — and worse still, the disease is fatal and there is no known cure.

In most cases, death occurs with 12 to 18 months of the disease’s onset. It is said to affect just 40 families worldwide.

This week’s one-hour episode of Something’s Killing Me is a tense journey, with people across the globe telling their stories of this fatal form of insomnia.

The episode includes journalist Hayley Webb, who is a Channel Nine News reporter in Australia and inherited the gene along with her brother Lachlan.

It is also a look backwards in history, with the case of a Venetian family plagued with the disease for generations examined.

Hosted by actor BD Wong, six-part docuseries Something’s Killing Me is a deep dive into lesser known diseases and mysterious symptoms that result in often tragic outcomes.

Each episode chronicles a race against time to unravel why, what and how something is killing a patient, even in cases of human malfeasance.

Something’s Killing Me airs Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT on HLN.

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