In the district Magura, Bangladesh, a baby boy with wrinkled skin, shallow eyes and shrunken body resembling an 80 year old, was born to a farmer’s wife. This is the new real-life Benjamin Button, the baby boy whose body has aged way beyond his actual age. Despite his rare condition, the parents are as joyed and loving as any couple welcoming their newborn and thank the god for their happiness.
The little boy’s parents are excited to have a new member join their family of three.
Biswajit and Parul Patro, the father and mother of the child, are quite happy to have their child. Parul Patro was quite busy meeting their relatives and the curious villagers who kept visiting the hospital to have a look at the baby. Even people from neighboring villages came to visit their son and they were quite happy to host them all.
The newborn baby suffers from progeria and has wrinkled face and skin, with sunken eyes and shrunken body like that of an 80-year-old.
According to the doctor treating the baby, there are prominent signs of aging such as excessive wrinkling and rough skin texture. Progeria is an extremely rare genetic disorder, occurring in an estimated 1 in 8 million live births, in which the symptoms of aging are seen at a very early age. Since there is no cure for the disease, most children do not live beyond 13 years of age, and sometimes early 20’s; the oldest survivor being a South African painter and hip-hop artist Leon Botha, who died at the age of 26.
People with progeria age at a rate eight to ten times faster than normal people, but their mental abilities are not affected.
Though they age at such higher rates, their mental abilities and intelligence are not affected and they tend to be average or above average like any other child. Another 4-year-old child in Bangladesh, not far from where Parul and Biswajit’s son was born, called Bayezid Hossain from Khalia village was diagnosed with progeria. He was said to be very intuitive, aware and conversational, but is faced with isolation from other children because of his appearance.
Parul and Biswajit hope that their son would live a long and healthy life despite his condition.
The parents are not unhappy that their son suffers from a rare genetic condition for which there is no cure, or that he is different from normal children. They said they would accept their new son the way he is. This is their second child. The first is a daughter, Aparna, who Biswajit says has taken after her mother and breaks into a hearty smile when told his son resembles him.
There are currently over 100 known cases of progeria over the world, with 140 from historical records and a suspected 150 more undiagnosed.
Progeria takes a toll on those suffering from it. The body starts to degenerate. Apart from visible aging symptoms, they develop complications such as kidney failure, loss of eyesight, bone defects and have small fragile bodies. At least 90 percent of the patients die of conditions such as heart attack or stroke.