A youth worker who developed Tourette's overnight has finally found love with her deaf boyfriend - who endures her outbursts by switching off his hearing aid.
Ellie Grant, 22, lived a totally normal life until she started blurting out the word "marshmallow" while shopping in a supermarket.
By the next day she was involuntarily yelling swear words and racial insults and began lashing out with kicks and punches.
Ellie was utterly baffled by the symptoms until she was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, a neurological condition which affects the brain and nervous system.
She was so embarrassed by her outbursts she retreated behind her front door, gave up work and became a recluse.
But she found love after meeting her now-boyfriend Jordan Pettifer, 22, who wasn't bothered at all by her potty mouth - because he is deaf.
He even turns off his hearing aid to make Ellie feel more comfortable and her mum affectionately calls the pair “The Undateables” after the TV show.
‘Meant for each other’
Ellie said: "We're a match made in heaven.
"At the beginning he would just switch his hearing aid off and if he wanted to talk to me he would just look at me - he can lip read.
"It meant he didn't hear any of my rude vulgar outbursts and it just made me feel so comfortable.
"He said to me 'if you don't want me to hear them then I won't' and that was that.
"He was oblivious to it all and it made me realise we are just meant for each other."
Ellie, from Ironville, Nottinghamshire, was working as a community support worker when she started “ticking” while queuing in a supermarket.
She found herself unable to stop blurting out "marshmallow" and immediately called her doctor for an appointment after she ran back to her car in shame.
By the time she saw her GP the next day, her ticks had already increased ten-fold, and she began shouting random words.
"My arms were smacking my face as I was sat there in the waiting room," she recalled.
"I was being horrible to everyone. There were a lot of swear words, and stuff like 'carry on looking at me and I'll take you to Japan'. It came on so quickly."
Rushed to hospital
Mortified Ellie was told she should see a specialist and went home to break the news of her unusual new trait to her mum Caroline.
The pair rushed to A&E at King's Mill Hospital in Mansfield where MRI scans confirmed she was not suffering from brain damage, and weeks later the family discovered she had Tourette's.
Ellie went on to develop OCD and anxiety, and gave up work as well as cutting herself off from friends and family, shutting herself away in her room.
But in late February last year her aunt Annie took Ellie out for a drink at her local pub, where she bumped into Jordan.
Ellie said: "Jordan was in the pub and he was the only person not looking at me. Everyone else was laughing and looking and having conversations about me.
"I thought 'why isn't he?' I went outside and he also came out. Then I saw his hearing aid and I started saying 'deaf, deaf' - it was a new tick.
"I was like 'oh god, I'm sorry' and he said 'I'm deaf, it doesn't matter what you said, I can't hear you'.
"It was amazing and we just hit it off straight away."
‘Ticks were cute’
One of Ellie's biggest fears was staying over at his house because her ticks continue through the night - but Jordan immediately put her at ease.
"He said he turned off his hearing aid through the night so he wouldn't be able to hear me at all," she said. "I thought 'this is amazing'.
"I was keeping my mum up at night, but now the only person I keep up in the night is our dog."
The pair moved in with each other in July and doting Jordan is now a carer for Ellie, who suffers severe physical ticks, as well as her verbal outbursts.
Jordan, who has been 97% deaf since getting meningitis aged five, said: "Meeting Ellie completed me.
"Her ticks were never a problem for me - I thought it was cute if I'm being honest.
"I used to get frustrated not being able to hear things properly but we even each other out.
"Things I can't do like phone calls she does, things she can't do like chop food I do.
"I could never imagine life without her now.”
The pair are keen to hear from medical experts and other sufferers about ways Ellie can combat her ticks.
Video credit: SWNS