Progeria paralyses Shidlaghatta man's life

Progeria paralyses Shidlaghatta man's life

Those afflicted with the disease suffer from stunted growth, wrinkled skin and a shrunken face. Another problem faced by such people is chronic indigestion, weakness, besides pain in the body. The condition leads to the patients depending on others for their daily needs. Only one in 80,000 people suffer from this rare hereditary disease.

Difficult grasp
Devaraju, son of Krishnappa and Sarojamma, residing near the Citizen DEd College on Chintamani Road in the town, cannot hold even a tumbler of water firmly with his hands. He can eat no more than a handful of food that too only once a day. A slight increase in food intake and the man suffers from stomachache.

Whenever Devaraju’s suffering increases, his parents take him to the doctor, who administers him an injection. The Krishnappa-Sarojamma couple have three other children, who are normal and settled elsewhere. Half-an-acre of land and the disease-stricken son are the only assets of the husband and wife now.

Difficult life
“It’s been a hellish experience for my son for over 30 years now. Devaraju has grown only upto three feet. The doctors have been unable to diagnose his problem properly,” rue his parents.

Devaraju, born in 1979, had a bout of fever when he was six-month-old. There were small boils on his back, leading to wounds on the spot. Though the wounds healed after hospitalisation, he had stunted growth thereafter.

Soon there were scars on the face which wrinkled. Devaraju seldom felt hungry and suffered from bouts of fever and loose motion. This condition for the last 30 years has debilitated the man.

Hereditary problem
“He suffers from a rare hereditary disease, which scientists Hutchinson and Gilford threw light on in 1886. Hence this medical condition came to be known as the ‘Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome’ or HGPs. There is no suitable medication for this at present. There are only temporary treatments and no permanent cure,” says Dr D T Satyanarayana Rao.

Rao said scientists were studying the processes in the bodies of those afflicted by the syndrome when they age. Efforts were on to find a suitable treatment for the disease, the doctor added.

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