Waking Mathilda
a memoir of childhood narcolepsy

A native of England, Claire Crisp had it all—a strong marriage, three healthy children, and her own home in Bristol. Then came the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009. It took only vaccine—one seemingly innocuous vaccine to Mathilda, the baby of the family—to change their lives forever. Diagnosed at age three as the world's youngest child with narcolepsy, the joyful and energetic Mathilda rapidly dissolved into someone unrecognizable. 

In this compelling narrative, Claire Crisp chronicles the fight for Mathilda's treatment. Leaving their family and country in England, the Crisps begin a new journey—one of faith, of loss, and of love as immigrants to the western shores of the United States.


“Claire Crisp has written a book that illumines the strength of the human spirit and the depth of human love in suffering. It is a gem.”
— Dr. Eleonore Stump, St. Louis University
“This story envelopes [us] because of its profound vulnerabilities, its infuriating injustices, its dogged love, its honest faith. Claire Crisp draws us into their family story with intimate candor and tender courage.”
— Dr. Mark Labberton, President, Fuller Theological Seminary
“The experience of having your child develop narcolepsy when only a few years old is terrifying. Claire Crisp’s eloquent experience with Mathilda will help the thousands of children that develop narcolepsy every year to be more quickly recognized and treated.”
— Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences
“Beautifully written, this book touched me deeply. It illustrates the depth of parental love, and yet despite the frustrations and setbacks, it’s the story of a family who never gave up hope.”
— Readers' Favorite


Quotes from Waking Mathilda