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 21-Year-Old Indian Man Stuck In A 160-Year-Old Body (Photos)

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PostSubject: 21-Year-Old Indian Man Stuck In A 160-Year-Old Body (Photos)   2017-04-27, 09:55

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The world's oldest 'Benjamin Button': 21-year-old man is stuck in the body of a pensioner as he is ageing EIGHT times faster than normal - and was even asked to join a circus



The world's oldest 'Benjamin Button' is a 21-year-old man in the body of a 160-year-old. 

Rupesh Kumar, from Hanumanganj, India, has aged eight times faster than normal due to a rare ageing disease.

His aged appearance caused such a stir that his parents were even offered money to sell him to a circus. 

The condition, known as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria, affects just one in eight million people.

Mr Kumar is the oldest known survivor and weighs just over three stone.   

Rupesh Kumar, 21, from Hanumanganj, India, is ageing eight times faster than a healthy person

WHAT IS PROGERIA? 

Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome is a rare, fatal genetic condition characterised by an appearance of accelerated ageing in children.  

It is caused by a mutation in a gene called LMNA.

LMNA produces a protein that holds cells together. 

Cellular instability appears to cause premature aging.

Sufferers typically show symptoms at around 18-24 months old.

These include growth failure, loss of body fat and hair, aged-looking skin, joint stiffness and hip dislocation. 

Patients usually die of heart disease at around 14 years old.

Source: Progeria Research Foundation 

'Benjamin Button' is novel about a character who was born as a old man.  

Mr Kumar started to show signs of the disease as a young boy. 

His father Ramapati Kumar, 45, a farm labourer, said: 'It all started with frequent headaches and stomach pains when he was very small.

'We took him to several doctors, but none of them could diagnose his condition.

'They prescribe a few painkillers and ask us to go home.' 

As Rupesh grew, his parents noticed abnormal changes in his body and appearance.

His father said: 'Over time, my son's head grew abnormally big and he started shedding weight drastically.'

Around five years ago, a few people came to their village under the pretence of helping Rupesh.

The condition, known as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria, affects just one in eight million people

His father said: 'I thought they were good people who wanted to help with the treatment of my son.

'But I was shocked when they said that they wanted to buy my son and exhibit him as a spectacle in a circus.

'They offered to pay us Rs 300,000 [approximately £3,600]. I politely told them to go away. That I would never give my child away even if they had offered Rs 10,000,000 [approximately £121,000].'

His parents Ramapati Kumar, 45, and Shanti Devi, refused to let their son be taken to a circus

Rupesh's mother Shanti Devi, who acts as his carer, said: 'How could they even dare to make such an inhuman offer?'

Unfortunately, Hutchinson-Gilford progeria is incurable, yet Rupesh has defied expectations by living into his twenties.

His doctor Dr Yugantar Pandey, said: 'He is suffering from progeria and there is no cure of this disease so far.

Mr Kumar's symptoms first started as a young boy when his head grew large and he lost weight

'Most people suffering from progeria die by the time they reach 13-15, but in some cases, like the case of Rupesh, they live up till 21.

'The symptoms of progeria was first seen in Rupesh at the age of two.

'It was because of this condition that growth stopped, hairs started falling off, skin started sagging and teeth weakened.

Most sufferers die at around 14, but Mr Kumar is defying expectations despite his symptoms

He said: 'The patient's muscles also loose the strength. Like in other cases of progeria, Rupesh's eyes have sunk into his sockets and skin has become pale.

'This is a genetic problem that occurs due to mutation of genes.'  

Mr Kumar's parents are desperate for help and have even written to India's Prime Minister

Rupesh's desperate parents have written to India's Prime Minister pleading for help, but are waiting for a reply.

In the meantime, a local non profit organisation, Ashutosh Memorial Trust, is helping ensure that Rupesh gets necessary medical care and attention. 




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