A 4-year-old boy in Bangladesh is suffering from a rare disorder that makes him look like an old man.
Bayezid Hossain was diagnosed with progeria, a rare disorder that makes the body age eight times the normal rate, the Daily Mail reported. Bayezid also suffers from cutis laxa, a connective tissue disorder in which the skin hangs loosely off the bones and then folds.
The disorders make Bayezid look like an old man. He has a swollen face, hollow eyes, and sagging skin. His bones ache and he has difficulty passing urine.
Other children in the community are afraid to play with Bayezid who, despite his rare disorders, has an above average intelligence.
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“Bayezid only learned to walk aged three but he had a full set of teeth at three months old,” Bayezid’s mother, 18-year-old Tripti Khatun, told the Daily Mail. “His physical growth is completely abnormal but mentally, he has wonderful conversation, very aware and is very intuitive for his age.
“He does not look like other children. He looks like an old man. As a first time mother I can’t bear the pain of seeing my child like this,” she said, reported Metro.
Tripti and her husband, Lovelu Hossain, 22, were devastated when Bayezid was born in 2012.
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“I was terrified to see him when he was born,” Tripti recalled. “He was just flesh and bones. He looked like an alien and it was heartbreaking for me.
“Doctors had no idea what to do, they said they had never seen such a baby. They warned us that there was nothing they could do.”
Tripti said her family got no support from the local community. She said people lined up to see the child and often gossiped about her and her husband, who are first cousins. Bayezid is now called the “old man” by neighbors.
“We’ve been to hospitals, shrines, fakirs, shamans -- whoever suggested whatever,” Lovelu said. “Yet his situation remains the same and he’s probably getting even worse day by day. My son isn’t a normal baby and it’s tragic for any parent to know that his child will not survive for long.
“But I am proud of him. He is extremely intelligent compared to other children of his age. His relationship with his cousins is very friendly and funny.
“He understands his condition but he doesn’t like to talk about it. He just cries when he feels awkward.”
Debashis Bishwas, a consultant at Magura Central Hospital, diagnosed Bayezid with progeria and cutis laxa in June. He said the child might only live for 15 years.
“His signs suggest he is suffering from a very difficult disease,” Bishwas explained. “The skin of a progeria patient start getting loosened like an elderly person months after birth.
“We can only advise the family to get specialized care in a hospital like Dhaka Medical College Hospital or Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka, as there’s no treatment here.”
Lovelu fears his son might not be getting the best possible treatment because they are poor.
“His mother is in uncontrollable tears all the time,” said Lovelu. “It has been four years now and nothing has changed. It is so painful to see that our first child suffers a disease we cannot even treat.
“We’d like more children but we’re too scared. We feel very helpless. Like every other parent, we want our baby to live a long and healthy life but we feel only a miracle will save us now.’