A 4 year old boy in Bangladesh has the appearance of an old man
A 4 year old Bangladeshi boy, Bayezid Shikdar, suffers from a mysterious illness that causes him to have the appearance of a very old man. The child was born with excess skin that hangs from its members and his face, making him looks like an old man.
He was admitted to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) for diagnostic procedures in order to determine the causes behind his mysterious medical condition. Doctors at the hospital have tried to diagnose the disease and treat the boy at no costs. But as of today there is no conclusive diagnosis yet. Preliminary tests have revealed that he suffers from heart problems, hearing and vision impairment. But this is not the main reason behind his premature old age appearance. These conditions may be resulted from the unknown organic problem, the specialists think.
This hospital has talented and experienced specialists. Doctors have already met very complex medical cases. It is in this same hospital that the 26 year old Bangladeshi man nicknamed “man-tree” was treated for his impressive bark-like warts which grew all over his hands and feet. The family remains hopeful that their son will find a solution there.
The family had met with many doctors, but none came to know what the child is suffering, said the father of the boy, Lablu Shikdar. During a quick interview at the Dhaka Hospital this week, he told the Agence France-Presse (AFP), “We sold our land to treat him at local hospitals. We took him to religious healers and herbal doctors, but his condition did not change. This hospital is our last hope…We hope it will be like any other child.”
Progeria (Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome)
Some doctors interviewed by the family had reported a case of progeria (Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome), an extremely rare genetic disorder that causes premature aging shortly after birth. In fact, this is the condition that inspired the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2018)”, where Brad Pitt played the role of a man who is born old but getting younger with time.
But the doctors were cautious to this hypothesis, saying that further tests were needed before reaching a diagnostic conclusion. “The aging process accelerates with time in the case of progeria,” said Abul Kalam, head of the plastic surgery unit. But according to Bayezid parents, the aging process has been stopped recently. “He has shown signs of improvement”, they continued to say.
According to hospital staff, the boy’s disease may also be due to inbreeding, marriages between members of the same family that closely related genetically. This practice is common in rural Bangladesh. But this also remains another hypothesis which is yet to be confirmed or ruled out.
For Khatun’s mother, Bayezid is like any other child. “He plays football and hide-and-seek with his cousins. He is a very talented boy. Sometimes he grabs books and wants to go to school. But he is still young,” she told the AFP. She remains confident that her loving son will be successfully treated and lives a long and healthy life