‘Pint sized man’, 23, trapped in body of a toddler because of mystery condition
A 23-year-old man has not grown since he was a baby – and medics are still baffled by the medical condition he suffers from.
Manpreet Singh has been branded the ‘pint sized man’ by his neighbours, as he has to be carried around like a toddler by his aunt.
It is not known why Manpreet, from Punjab in India, stopped growing before he could walk or talk.
He was a healthy baby when he was born in 1995, but is now completely dependent on his aunt, Lakhwinder Kaur, 42.
Doctors initially told his father Jagtar, 50, a small-time farmer, that he would start growing again.
But when that didn’t happen, the doctors suggested that it could be a hormone disorder.
Manpreet has one sister, Jaspreet who has just turned 17 and a brother Mangaldeep. Both of them are physically and mentally developed.
MK Bhadu, a medical officer at a state-run facility at Hisar, said: "The patient’s growth stopped due to some hormonal imbalance.
"A child begins to develop mentally and physically from the age of three. If his body is not developing, the parents should take him to a better medical facility and get him treated."
Scientists, however, believe Manpreet could have Laron Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that is believed to have affected just 300 people across the globe.
A crowdfunding page has been launched to help support his medical treatment.
A third of people afflicted with this rare genetic condition live in remote villages in Ecuador’s southern Loja province.
People living with Laron lack a hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, or IGF-1, which stimulates the cell to grow and divide to form new cells.
Unable to take a proper care of the grown-up toddler, his family sent him to the care of his uncle and aunty in Hisar, nearly 70 miles from their home.
Manpreet has swollen palms, feet and a big face with saggy skin, and primarily communicates through gestures. He can laugh, scream and cry but cannot keep a conversation.
Karanvir Singh, Manpreet’s 45-year-old uncle said: "Manpreet giggles like a toddler and seldom gets sad.
"It’s only when the dogs or any other animal makes a sound, he gets terrified and cries. He is a delightful child and gestures the guests with his hands to sit, and tries to befriend them.
At times, Manpreet can be very mischievous. "Though he only speaks in monosyllables like maa (mom) and mama (uncle), he learned the skills to communicate through gestures. He has also become an expert in mimicking people.
"He would greet a guest by shaking hands with them and request them to take a seat," says Lakhwinder.
Whenever his cousin Mandeep takes him out on a bicycle, people follow them to have a glance at him.
"We have sent him back to his parents several times, but he won’t stay with them. Manpreet would stop eating and keep crying all the time there.
"But when he is sent back to us again, he would turn into the same bubbly and joyful kid. We love this little bundle of joy so much that the idea of letting him go makes my heart sink," said the doting aunt.
Worried about his future, the family has been consulting doctors in the metro cities.
"We took him to a few doctors but his condition could not get any better. We have accepted his fate and in a way are happy to have him as his cheerfulness enlightens the environment," said Mandeep, cuddling his baby brother in his arms.
The doctors have said that they need to do a proper investigation of his condition before being able to diagnose it.
Uncle Karanvir Singh and his son work as drivers and make barely enough to run the family.
"We don’t have enough funds to take him to a better doctor or hospital," said Karanvir. "We appeal to the kind people of the internet to help us raise funds for Manpreet’s treatment."
The cost of the investigation and preliminary treatment would be around Rs 500,000 (just under £5,400).
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