A 19-year old girl in West Bengal is suffering from a rare genetic condition that has stunted her growth after her second birthday, which makes her look like a toddler even though she is now on the verge of coming out of her teenage years.
Akifa Khatun stopped growing when she was two years old and though her parents have shown her to a number of doctors, they do not have any idea why she is still like a baby. Akifa weighs 1st 3lbs, has to be spoon fed and is carried around by her mother. Doctors initially blamed cancer as cause for her stunted growth before deciding that it was a hormone disorder.
Scientists suggest that Akifa may be suffering from a condition known as Laron Syndrome, which is so rare that it affects just 300 people in the world.
Nearly a third of Laron Syndrome patients live in Ecuador's southern Loja province and the patients lack a hormone called IGF-1 that is responsible for making cells to grow and divide to form new cells. Stating that he believes Akifa is 'probably' suffering from Laron Syndrome, Child Growth Foundation's Tam Fry said, "Ajifa is likely to maintain her childlike features for the majority of her life."