A 20-year-old lady from South Africa has given birth to a baby girl that looks like an old woman due to a rare condition called progeria, a progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly.
Progeria, also known as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is caused by a mutation (change) in the lamin (LMNA) gene.
It was gathered that the lady delivered the baby girl at home in Libode, in Eastern Cape after the ambulance her grandmother called failed to show up on time.
After her birth, local mid-wives including the baby’s grandmother noticed that she exhibited signs that were different from most babies. Her hands are deformed and her skin was wrinkled.
The development got the mid-wives and the grandmother of the child worried and they immediately moved the baby to a hospital where she is currently with her mother.
“When she was in labour we called an ambulance but it took long to come. So she gave birth here at home. But the delivery got complicated and we hired a van to take her to hospital,” the grandmother said.
“We were told there that she’s disabled. I noticed during her birth that there was something strange with her. She did not cry and she was breathing through the ribs.
“I was shocked because that was strange. Now I hear that people are calling her names. That hurts a lot. If I had means, I would put all of them in jail,” she added.
Photos of the baby have been circulating on social media and some users likened her to an ape, causing outrage and anger among those who sympathize with her.
Director of children’s rights organization, Khula Community Development Project, Petros Majola, believes communities need to be educated about this condition.
“Communities must know that the mother did not apply for her baby to be like this. In a woman’s womb, there is no construction or factory that builds babies. People need to embrace this child for who she is,” says Majola.
See more photos of mother and child below:
KanyiDaily had also reported how a 37-year-old woman, Gosiame Thamara Sithole, broke the Guinness World Record after giving birth to ten babies in South Africa.