Teenager Trapped In Body Of Old Man Is Ageing EIGHT Times Faster Than Normal & Defies Doctors To Reach 15

Teenager Trapped In Body Of Old Man Is Ageing EIGHT Times Faster Than Normal & Defies Doctors To Reach 15

 

 

 

A young man with Progeria has reached a miracle birthday, proving doctors wrong and making him the oldest living child with Progeria in India.

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From The Daily Mail:

A teenager with a ultra-rare genetic condition that makes him look like an old man has defied doctors to celebrate his 15th birthday.

Nihal Bitla, who lives on the outskirts of Mumbai, has Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome – which ages his body eight times faster than normal.

The condition leaves him bald, with heavy wrinkles and severely weakened limbs.

The average life expectancy for children with progeria is 14.

Many sufferers die from a heart condition where the arteries become hard and narrow – which usually affects adults over 60.

As a result, children with progeria are prone to heart attacks and strokes aged ten or under.

But Nihal blew out the candles on his 15th birthday cake on January 20, making him the oldest living child diagnosed with progeria in India.

And despite the challenges posed by the syndrome, the teenager remains positive about his future.

Nihal said: ‘I have never felt that this is a disease, because I’m a special child. This is like a God’s gift to me.’

Like most boys his age, he loves playing computer games – and those who know him say he has bright eyes, a caring nature, and a child-like innocence.

But his body is that of an elderly man, with wrinkled leathery skin, a bald enlarged head and withered limbs.

He weighs 12.5kg – just under two stone – and is under 4 foot (1.2 m) in height.

In the years to come, his mind will remain young, but his body will age and his health will deteriorate.

The teenager has already stopped going to school, after his classmates began teasing him.

They called him Auro, a progeria patient played by Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan in the Bollywood movie Paa.

When a fellow student told him he too would suffer a heart attack like Auro did in the movie, upset Nihal refused to go back.

However, last December Nihal was sent to the Progeria Research Foundation in Boston, where he began undergoing clinical trials for a cancer drug that doctors hope will slow the ageing process.

It is not known if his life expectancy will be lengthened, so in the meantime he is hoping to fulfil dreams such as meeting Honda’s ASIMO robot and going to Disneyland in California.

Progeria is very rare, with between 200 to 250 children living with the syndrome at any given time, according to The Progeria Research Foundation.

Congratulations on reaching such an important birthday, Nihal!

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