Paa comes to Bagalkot in real

Progeria

Paa comes to Bagalkot in real

rare disease  Two children suffering from Progeria in Guledagudda, Badami taluk in Bagalkot. DH photo

Age, it seemed, was catching up with Hanumantha and Rekha. Baffled and mystified, their parents consulted almost all district paediatricians who could not diagnose what the children suffered from.

This rare disorder -- a disease actually -- is called Progeria, and it causes premature aging and usually results in early-adolescent death from cardiovascular complications.

Same fate

When their mother was pregnant again, Mahadevappa, who limps, and his wife decided to consult a gynaecologist, fearing the same fate may be in store for the child. At that time, the gynaecologist referred the parents to approach her husband and paediatrician Shekar Mane, who has a 50-bed nursing home.

While Hanumantha is just eight and looks like a 60-year-old man, Rekha ten times older than her age. The two are from Guledagudda in Badami taluk of Baglkot district.

 "I was surpised when I saw them when they approached me some six months ago. I had taken pictures on my mobile phone and studied medical literature and thought that they were suffering from Progeria. I decided to approach the media as a magazine said that only one family in Kolkata has children with this rare disorder,' 38-year-old doctor told Deccan Herald. The doctor said that boy was mentally active and “even has a story about me.” “He has told this to my staff but refuses to reveal it to me. I attend to their routine health problems and they were admitted to the hospital twice,” he added.

Hanumantha does not mix with others because of some deformity but looks very old and the case of his four-year old sister is no different Suddenly, there is awareness about the disorder following the publicity to movie ‘Paa’, starring Amitabh Bachchan and his son, Abhishek. The movie deals with a person afflicted with ‘Progeria’ and the role is donned by 67-year-old Hindi star Amitabh. With a lot of publicity in the media about the production of the movie and how Amitabh went about preparing for the role, people have learnt a lot about the disorder. 

What is Progeria?

Progeria, meaning premature ageing in Greek is a genetic disorder. Its alternative nomenclature is Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome. It is said that such children normally do not survive more than 20 years.

As it is a genetic disease, there is no proper definite cure and the children are given calcium tablets to strength their bones and normal medicine to bring temperature down.

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