For eight year old Mohammad Kaleem, a boy who lives with his parents in a small village in Jharkhand State, eastern India, a normal life had always been out of reach.
That’s because he was born with a rare form of giantism specifically macrodactyly, or localised giantism. It’s caused his hands and arms to grow to a disproportionate size.
Simple tasks such as eating and getting dressed have been very difficult for Kaleem.
He’s also been bullied by the other children in his village because of his large hands, and wasn’t even allowed to attend school.
“The school teachers said they could not take Kaleem. They said his huge hands will scare other kids. So he was denied admission,” said Mohammad Shamim, Kaleem’s father.
Unfortunately, his parents earn such a modest wage that they haven’t been able to take him to a doctor that is, until his story went public.
Learn more about Kaleem’s condition in the video below.
In 2014, Kaleem’s parents were introduced to Dr. Raja Sabapathy, a hand surgeon who specializes in microsurgery. He was able to perform a series of operations on one of Kaleem’s hand to reduce its size.
“We decided to go for just one hand to begin with. This was our best way to assess the condition, he explained at the same time, we did not want to affect the boy’s mobility.”
“Dr Sabapathy gave us hope after seeing Kaleem. He was the first doctor who told us that some sort of remedy was possible to help our son,” said Haleema Begum, Kaleem’s mother.
Now his parents are considering further surgery on his other hand. They’re also very excited about the prospect of their son finally being able to go to school.