Khadija Khatoon, 21, is thought to have neurofibromatosis - causing large hanging growths on her face. She has lived her whole life with no face as doctors warned surgery could kill her - now they think it may be hiding a tumor.
Parents Rashid Mulla and Amina Bibi said they were initially unaware of their daughter's condition but became concerned after she failed to open her eyes despite being two months old.
‘Khadija Khatoon was born into a poor family in Kolkata with thick heavy eyelids and she looked very different compared to children at birth but her parents didn’t think anything of it until they realized that she couldn’t open her eyes properly.’
AdvertisementHer family were told there was nothing that could be done by medics at six-months-old after she was born with extremely heavy eyelids and couldn't open her eyes. Her condition worsened as her excess skin kept growing.
Ms Khatoon, who was born into an impoverished family, has never gone to school and has largely been rejected by her community. Doctors told her parents that they were unable to treat the mysterious condition and she has never been given a formal diagnosis.
However, she insists that she is happy with her life. She said: "I'm made this way and I accept it graciously. My family is my only friend and I love them dearly. It's not a matter of coping, I just live as I am."
Local government officer, Rupak Dutta, 52, from Kolkata, has taken on the case to fundraise for a life-changing surgery. He felt compelled to do something after spotting her on the street. Mr Dutta is now in talks with local NGOs who will help Khadija meet with specialists to discuss possible surgery.