There is nothing worse than being an odd child trying to mingle with the rest and act normal. Sadly, it is in our nature to reject those different and even bully them.
The following 17 children appear to be so unlucky you will probably double check the stories. Fill your heart with hope as you read about their struggle to overcome extremely rare diseases and birth defects.
1. Sam Berns
Sam Berns is one of the few unfortunate children affected by progeria.
Those poor souls experience premature aging and the almost certain death sentence before reaching adulthood. The mysterious condition might make you think of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and Sam’s life was indeed one worthy of a Hollywood film.
Sam Berns became famous primarily because of his parents, both pediatricians, who made a pledge to fight the illness. They founded the Progeria Research Foundation and used their son’s story for raising awareness.
Sam became a celeb once he had his documentary produced by HBO – “Life According to Sam.” The odd kid also appeared in a TED video called “My philosophy for a happy life.”
Unfortunate, Sam passed away in 2014. You will be shocked to know he was only 17 years old, yet looked like a little grandpa.
You must see what made the next odd girl famous!
2. Lakshmi Tatma
Lakshmi Tatma is one Indian girl whose birth in 2005 became instant headlines.
Bearing the name of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, the unlucky girl was born with four legs and four arms. No, she was not the result of a horrific genetic experiment gone wrong. Her misfortune lied in the fact that she inherited limbs and other body parts from a conjoined twin who died at birth.
Lakshmi received surgery when she was just two years old and now looks like a typical little girl. The marathon intervention lasted 27 hours and involved 30 of the best Indian surgeons.
Fate might have screwed Lakshmi, but it left her with one lifeline. She was born into a religion whose deities often have multiple sets of limbs. With some perceiving her as an incarnation, Lakshmi afforded the complicated and extensive surgery only because she became a national celeb by then.
Ready for another gruesome twist the human body can take?
3. Nguyen Xuan Minh
Nguyen Xuan Minh is one Vietnamese boy with a strange deformation of the cranium.
What could have caused the eerie cone-shaped head? Nguyen’s is one of the thousands of children that were born with anomalies, and the reason might surprise you at first – The Vietnam War.
It was Agent Orange who did this. The strong chemical was used by the Americans to destroy crops and jungles as they tried to impose control in the countryside. The potent compounds inside Agent Orange leaked in the water and soil and contaminated all future harvests.
Because of its weird looks, 6-year-old Nguyen Xuan Minh became the symbol of the campaign that tries to point the finger at those responsible. Unfortunately for him and many other Vietnamese children, the chance of surgery and a healthy life are minimum. No one can afford the cost.
How would you react after meeting the next unfortunate kid face to face?
4. An Qi
The bullying you faced in school is nothing compared to what poor An Qi had to go through.
The unfortunate Chinese child was born with a rare condition that triggers abnormal hair growth on the right side of his face. And yes, the hair grows longer and needs constant maintenance.
Cases like the one of An Qi might help to explain why myths of werewolves survived to this day. Just imagine an entire body affected by the abnormal growth paired with the intense psychological strain.
You will be happy to know that the photos we have of An Qi date back to 2011. Most likely the boy’s sad story impressed some generous hearts. Although it seems complicated, removing all that hair is routine intervention compared to what you’ve seen so far on the list.
The next kid spooked everyone with his rare condition. You must read his story!
5. Mohammad Kaleem
Would you dare to go to school with such huge hands? What about learning to write?
For 9-year-old Mohammad Kaleem, these were never questions to haunt the mind. That is because people in his small village of Eastern India treated the whole thing as a taboo.
Superstitions rank high in rural communities, and Mohammad’s rare form of gigantism attracted far more than bullying from other kids. The unfortunate soul was labeled the “devil’s child” and denied access to school.
However, Mohammad Kaleem can count himself lucky. His case became highly mediatized, and that attracted interest from the medical community.
Don’t let yourself fooled by the promises of surgery! There is no procedure able to make Mohammad’s hands resemble the ones of a boy his age. Doctors were only able to stop the growth and remove extra tissue, enough to allow him to perform simple tasks and improve the overall quality of his life.
Same disease but a different body part. Chek out the next poor soul!
6. Verdant Joshi
Verdant Joshi is another kid affected by gigantism, only this time it is his right foot that decided to grow to abnormal proportions.
Life is harsh when you can’t be or act like the others. Although Verdant’s condition doesn’t prevent him from walking or running, children in his native western India village constantly tease him.
Verdant Joshi puzzled hundreds of doctors who failed to provide a solution other than amputation. Hope remains that continuing to raise awareness of Verdant’s condition might eventually put him in the hands of excellent physicians.
The odd thing about the large foot is that the boy feels no pain or discomfort. The 6-year-old is also too young to fully comprehend that his life is not on the right trajectory. The only ones with sleepless nights are his family, who can’t help but wonder how big it can get.
The next story is better than a Hollywood scenario. Check it out!
7. Kang Megru
As a parent, there is nothing scarier than to see your daughter’s stomach take epic proportions.
However, Kang Mengru was way too young to be pregnant. Although that is the title many used to exploit the story, the medical explanation is simpler although equally daunting.
The Chinese toddler had the incredible misfortune of being born with a twin brother growing inside her. The rare medical condition is just one of the many gruesome twists Mother Nature likes to play with the human body from time to time.
You will be relieved to know that the case became famous enough to grant little Kang Mengru the needed funds to undergo surgery. She made a full recovery and the medics are confident she retained all body functions, including the possibility to have babies in the future.
What the next child can do with his body will shock you. He is not normal!
8. Jaspreet Singh Kalra
We warn you from the very beginning. Don’t try this at home unless you already dialed the emergency service to pick you up once you’re done.
What Jaspreet Singh Kalra is capable of doing is beyond the reach of most of us, and it would be a simplification to say his body is flexible. Let’s break in the data that shows why he is called Rubber Man.
The 17-year-old Indian contortionist can rotate his head 180° and make other gruesome maneuvers that can get you to fill a bucket with puke in no time. It all started with him practicing Yoga at the age of 12.
The positions that make most people cry and curse their stiff joints proved to be a piece of cake for Jaspreet, as he moved on to test the flexibility of his body even further. Despite the fame and the records, few would consider exchanging their normal lives for a career of dislocated shoulders and hands rotate at 360°.
We all love small children and wish they would stay small forever. Someone granted such desire with incredible consequences.
9. Charlotte Garside
Charlotte Garside reigns as the unofficial tiniest girl in the world.
With only about 200 other children worldwide suffering from a condition known as primordial dwarfism, it is safe to call Charlotte unlucky. The estimated odds of bring born like her are 1 to 1 million.
What happens is the infant is born prematurely and fails to regain the lost ground. Compared to kids her age, 9-year-old Charlotte Garside looks like a doll, and can easily fit in a small backpack.
Although unlucky to appear in the world weighing just 1kg, Charlotte puzzled the medics that gave her less than a year to live. The tiny girl enrolled for school and benefited from the massive support she gets from colleagues.
Are you curious about this mysterious condition? You can join the ranks of scientist that still failed to produce a reasonable explanation. The condition is so rare they even neglected to assign a name to it.
When the face is the body part affected, there is no way to hide. The next story will make you feel sad!
10. Tessa Evans
You know what the worst part of not having a nose is? You can still get cold.
Those photos might look Photoshopped, but they are not. Tessa joined a handful of newborns that had an incredible misfortune. Someone forgot to add the nose in the basket and the tortured soul breaths through orifices opened in her neck (tracheostomy).
Are you not happy with the way look? Kiss that mirror and thank God (or Darwin) for being born with all the body parts in their correct position.
The good news is that cosmetic reconstruction is pretty advanced nowadays (thanks, Hollywood!). The 3-year-old would have to wait for growth spurts to finish the job before doctors can fit a nasal implant.
Unfortunately for Tessa, there is no breakthrough in offering her the sense of smell she was born without.
The next boy was lucky to survive. Villagers are so superstitious they tend to kill those that look odd.
11. Deepak Kumar Paswaan
Born with the legs and arms of his “parasitic twin” emerging from his chest, Deepak Kumar Paswaan is one Indian boy we are correct to call unlucky.
While most kids enjoy a trouble-free childhood, Deepak had to deal with the constant bullying and ridicule caused by him looking odd. Indeed, such an anomaly is rare and local medics were reluctant to proceed with the surgery. In fact, the somber prediction gave Deepak only a year to live.
Like many other cases presented throughout the list, the kid nicknamed “Octo-boy” benefited from the fame his case attracted. Take a second look at the photo above. That pic went viral in 2010 and helped Deepak’s family raise the money needed for the intervention.
The next case shows just how far thing can go if left unattended.
12. Didier Montalvo
Didier Montalvo is one odd kid that would make any fan of the Ninja Turtles jealous.
His abnormal shell-like growth attracted the nickname “turtle boy” from the village children. That’s not the worse part. Adults believe he is the son of the devil, sent to Earth to purge all those who are not righteous.
Modern surgery was the only one not impressed. Although rare, such cases occur and are dealt quite successfully. Didier underwent surgery in 2011 and lost 20% of his body weight. That’s how much the mole grew since birth.
You would be happy to know Didier enjoys a regular life and doesn’t have to carry the sinister burden everywhere he goes. Rural Colombia might not rank as the place with the highest quality of life, but things certainly get better once you become normal again.
“The Little Mermaid” got a modern reenactment, but this time with all the gruesome medical details included. Check it out!
13. Milagros Cerron
Not long ago mermaids were regarded as just a myth drunk sailors created to pass the time.
Everything changed once the case of Milagros Cerron brought in the eyes of the public a condition known as Sirenomelia. The Peruvian girl was born with her legs fused together, making her lower body look like a mermaid’s tail.
Add one extra detail to make such a remote birth defect even more gruesome. Poor Milagros was born with crooked internal organs, showing once more that Nature sometimes makes awful mistakes at assembling the human body.
Although the surgery to separate the legs proved successful, Milagros will need extended reconstruction interventions to be able to live a normal life. Seeing her learn to walk brought tears to everyone’s eyes.
Check out the next unlucky child and his story of battling the odds!
14. Misael Abreu
Misael Abreu has a solid excuse for his insatiable appetite.
The 7-year-old was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome, a condition that hijacks normal body reactions and promotes a state of constant hunger. Weighing 76 kg, Misael is a walking time-bomb waiting to blow.
Most doctors that have seen the Brazilian boy agree that his heart is in an imminent risk of collapse. The organ is too young to deal with the stress of pumping blood throughout his massive body.
For those lacking a minimum historical perspective, Misael might just be the real-life person that inspired the Michelin Man. However, that resemblance is far from offering the poor boy a ticket for stardom and salvation.
At the moment the best his parents can do is keep the kitchen locked and carefully monitor Misael’s intake of nutrients.
How hard it is for a child to deal with an incurable condition?
15. Pan Xianhang
Meeting 11-year-old Pan Xianhang at night might easily count as a third-degree contact.
For those unfamiliar with “Fish Boy,” the child can make quite a powerful first impression. His entire skin is covered with scales, a condition which goes by the name of ichthyosis.
Unfortunate for Pan, modern medicine failed to conceive a cure, leaving the little boy in a desperate state. Besides the itch and the stigma, the skin’s abnormal developments disturb the body’s ability to sweat and control its temperature.
Last time we checked Pan Xianhang had a hard time fitting with the normal kids. We can only sit and watch as education fails to override the human instinct of rejecting those that are different.
The next photos are graphic. Caution is advised!
16. Roona Begum
Roona Begum is proof that miracles do exist.
Born with a condition known as hydrocephalus Roona’s head kept on accumulating fluid until it swallowed four times the average size for her age. The 5-year-old defied the odds and made a full recovery after a surgery that was made possible due to crowd funding.
Do you want to hear a gruesome detail? Doctors extracted over 10 liters a fluid from the head, another testimony that nature screws it big time once in a while.
Despite the life-saving interventions and the reconstructive surgery that followed, Roona might never regain the ability to communicate with the outside world. Even so, she is displaying appropriate social skills and enjoys being in the company of her family.
Can you guess what is wrong with the next set of photos?
17. Bayezid Hossain
Something doesn’t look right with the photos of Bayezid Hossain.
The 4-year-old seem to have experienced a wacky sort of time traveled that left him old and sad. Like Sam Bern, the kid you met at the beginning of our list, Bayezid suffers from progeria.
Unfortunately, there is nothing modern medicine can do to prevent his body from aging several times faster than normal. Given the rural community of southern Bangladesh, Bayezid has a hard time convincing other kids to spend time with him.
Bayezid would have spent time with the village elders, but his limited experience walking the Earth left him with few stories worth telling.