Meet Mohammad Kaleem, an 8-year old Indian boy whose hands has grown several times larger than his head.
Due to his unusual condition, he has been forced to stop schooling due to excessive bullying and because other kids are scared of his giant hands. Also, he can no longer do basic stuff with his hands like, for example, wearing his own clothes and tying his shoe laces.
According to estimates, Kaleem’s hands weigh a total of 16 kilograms. The length of each hand, measured from the middle finger to the base of the palm is 13 inches (33cm). These figures are far higher than the average length of a normal adult human male hand (around 7.44 inches or 18.3cm) and its average weight (1.25 pounds or 0.6 kg).
‘I do not go to school because the teacher says other kids are scared of my hands,’ Kaleem said. ‘Many of them used to bully me for my deformity. They would say “let’s beat up the kid with the large hands.” Some of them have actually beaten me and would go after me often.’
‘I find it difficult to put on my clothes, button my shirt and pull up my pants.’
His 27-year old mother Haleema said of her son, ‘‘When Kaleem was born his hand was twice the size of a normal baby’s. His hands were big and his fingers were long. Initially his fists were small but they began to grow large as well and his fingers also kept growing.’
His 45-year old dad Shamim said that they’ve tried to get medical help for their son, but the cost is just too much for his $25 per month labourer’s salary to carry.
‘We want to take him to the hospital but there have been times when money has been so low that my wife has been forced to go begging,’ he said.
Indian doctors believe Kaleem’s condition is ‘extremely rare’ … and are still confused as to what is actually wrong with him. However, Dr Krishan Chugh, head of pediatrics at the state-of-the-art Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon, near Delhi, suspects Kaleem may be suffering from either lymphangioma – congenital inflammation of the lymphatic vessels – or harmatoma (benign tumor causing excessive growth of body tissues).
If Chugh’s tentative diagnosis proves true – something I believe will – then Kaleem has a ray of hope cos both conditions are treatable and are not cancerous in nature.
‘I have come across something like this before,’ said Chugh. ‘[But] without proper examination and medical tests I am not 100 per cent sure about what this is.’
Apart from his hands, Kaleem – who is a fan of cricket – is otherwise healthy, even though it is feared that his condition may stress his circulatory system, leading to hypertension and short life span.