A 14-year-old boy in Bihar, India, looked like he's living inside the body of a 110-year-old. He has a rare disease known as progeria which makes the boy age eight times faster than the normal aging process. Ali Hussain has five other siblings with the same disease and he watched them die because of progeria.
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome is a rare disease that occurs in 1 in 8 million births. The condition ages the child's body so rapidly its victims die before they have truly experienced youth. Children will lose hair, develop wrinkles and appear much older than they are. Picture here Nguyen Thi Ngoc, 13, reads a book at home in Ho Chi Minh City.
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Progeria is such a rare disease that it took Indian doctors a decade to diagnose the oldest sibling of Ali Hussain. Three of his sisters and two brothers have succumbed to the health complications of progeria in Bihar, the poorest Indian state.
Progeria is a rare condition that causes rapid aging and afflicts only 80 people in the world. Those afflicted with this type of genetic disease usually suffers from eye problems, heart disease, arthritis and baldness. The life expectancy of a person with progeria does not go beyond the age of 14.
However, despite this knowledge, Ali Hussain has stayed optimistic about his future and does not give up hope. The boy said he wants to live longer and wishes for some kind of medicine to cure his rare condition.
If ever he dies, Ali Hussein said he is not scared but he knew his parents have suffered a lot beginning with the loss of his siblings to progeria. The boy said he wanted to beat medical expectations and live so he will not cause his parents more pain.
Nabi Hussain Khan, 50, and Raiza, 46, are the parents of the boy. Their marriage was arranged 32 years ago as they are first cousins. Their other children, Iqramul, Rehana, Rubina and Gudiya, have died becaue of progeria. They died young, just between the ages of 12 and 24.
The fifth child, who was believed to have the same condition, died just a day after he was born.
Out of eight children, only two grew up to be healthy and free from progeria. Sanjeeda is already married at 20 years old with two children. Ten-year-old Chanda is the youngest daughter who also lives a healthy life without progeria.
When their eldest daughter was born in 1983, Ali Hussain's parents didn't know about Rehana's condition. They knew something was wrong when she was two years old when she had difficulty walking and eating. When they went to see a doctor, he just sent the family home with medicines.
The doctor was baffled about the mysterious condition. At that time, progeria was poorly documented and little was known about it. Most have never heard about the progeria.
The 14-year-old boy who looked like a 110-year-old weighed only 8 pounds and is now under the care of charitable institution, together with his parents, in Kolkata known as the SB Devi Charity.
Watch the video below to learn more about progeria:
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