actress's daughter thinks 'she's in France'


The daughter of an actress set to star in a West End play has spent four years waking up every morning believing she is in France.

In 2013 Tansy Smethurst, 13, from Greenwich, south-east London, was on holiday with her family, including her mother Rakie Ayola - who is set to play Hermione in the and the Cursed Child play - when she developed spots on her body and was rushed to hospital.

Scans revealed the teenager had a brain cyst, known as Neurofibromatosis type 1, which she had removed only to develop a serious infection that has left her with severe memory loss.

Four years later and despite undergoing 12 operations, Tansy can still only remember up to the day before she went on holiday and constantly bombards her devastated family with the same questions.

Rakie, 48, said: 'She still has memory issues, for example when we drive to see family in Wales she will ask several times on the journey where we are going.

'There are moments when someone asks how you are and you burst into tears.'

'Hermione Granger's daughter' wakes up every morning thinking she is in France

'Hermione Granger's daughter' wakes up every morning thinking she is in France


Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a genetic condition that affects one in 3,000 people in the UK to some extent.

It is caused by a genetic mutation that affects nerve tissue growth.

Around half of cases are inherited from a parent and the remainder occur spontaneously.

Early symptoms include flat brown birthmarks, and lumps and bumps in unusual places.

It is also associated with mild learning difficulties.

Most people with NF1 are otherwise healthy and live to a normal life expectancy. 

There is no cure.

Surgery can be performed to remove the benign growths.  

Source: The Neuro Foundation 

'If something new happens she struggles' 

Rakie said: 'She couldn't even remember her hospital room.

'Once she was up and walking she would go to the bathroom and come back and not recognise her room - even though hers was the one

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