An eight-year-old boy Mohammad Kaleem was suffering from a rare form of gigantism, which caused his hands to grow abnormally large, has recently undergone dramatic surgery to reduce them. The boy lives with his parents in a small village in Jharkhand State. He was born with a disorder which made his hands and arms grow very big. As Kaleem is seen abnormal, he didn’t get an admission in any school because his hands would scare other children. The village environment that made people to say the boy is devil’s child.
As Kaleem grew older, it became increasingly difficult for him to even complete his daily needs, such as dressing himself, eating and taking a bath. His parents earn very less which doesn’t help them for the treatment of his child. Thus they had left taking care as the treatment includes more money in lakhs.
However, after Kaleem’s story made headlines in several international newspapers, the eight-year-old has finally been helped by medical experts in south India, who recognised his condition as macrodactyly, or localised gigantism.
Towards the end of last year, the Mohammad family were introduced to Dr. Raja Sabapathy, a pioneering hand surgeon who is known for his expertise in micro surgery. The doctor took the challenge to help Kaleem. He was the first doctor who told us that some sort of remedy was possible to help our son,’ said Haleema Begum, Kaleem’s mother.
A new documentary follows the family as they travel thousands of miles from their village to Tamil Nadu, to see Dr. Sabapathy and his team of expert surgeons at Ganga Hospital, Combiatore. After researching for long time, doctors got an idea which reduces the size of Kaleem’s hands and fingers. ‘We decided to go for just one hand to begin with. This was our best way to assess the condition, ‘at the same time, we did not want to affect the boy’s mobility’ said Dr Sabapathy.
But Kaleem’s parents decided to follow Dr Sabapathy’s advice.’ We knew that there is no such thing as a devil’s child. The villagers love to gossip and that is what they are doing about our son. Ultimately, he is our son and we have to take care of him,’ said Shamim. The documentary follows Kaleem as he undergoes difficult operations and having physiotherapy to try to help him use his new hand. Now, the family is worried about further surgery on Kaleem’s left hand.
An elder in the village, said: ‘It seems that a solution is possible. Here in the village, we thought that the boy was cursed by God. But we think there is a change of fortunes now and the boy might have a better future.’ Shamim is now optimistic that his son will finally be able to have a normal schooling. Let us pray for this boy to get well soon and play with other children. Let us hope his hands gain the strength and become a normal human.