With his unusually hairy back and the looks of an 80-year-old, it’s not hard to see how one baby born on Sept. 25 in Bangladesh is capturing international attention.
The child has a rare condition affecting only one in four million people: progeria, which causes one’s body to age must faster than normal, the Daily Mail reports.
“The baby does not look like a newborn at all,” explains the doctor treating the baby. “There are prominent signs of aging such as excessive wrinkles and rough skin texture.”
Yet while the world might be shocked by the the thick layer of hair on the baby’s back, his premature wrinkles, hollow eyes and shriveled body, the baby’s parents couldn’t care less.
‘”We can only thank God,” said the baby’s Dad, Biswajit Patro, a farmer. “There is no need to be unhappy about the appearance of my son. We will accept him the way he is.”
In fact, Bisjawit is proud of the way his son looks, India Today reports.
“Our first child, Aparna, has taken after her mother,” he said. “But my boy looks like me, and I am happy.”
Even more remarkably, the parents are choosing to maintain a positive attitude despite the fact children with progeria often do not live past the age of 13.
“We are so happy to have a baby boy in the house,” is all Biswajit could say. “We are already blessed to have a daughter. Now we are a family of four. What else can we ask for.”
Still, even if the baby lives a long life, it’s difficult for many children with the condition to live normally.
On the Daily Mail’s Facebook post about the child, where already the child has been mocked, one visitor wrote, “It’s not what the child looks like that would break me. ..its the thought of how he is supposed to survive in this [judgmental] society full of “perfect people” who lack empathy.”
Despite the insults, many defend the child and praise the parents.
“He is a angel and even though he doesn’t look like the rest of us, he has a purpose, he is special, if he were my baby, I would fight to the ends of the earth for him,” wrote one Facebook user.
“The most important thing about this is that he is loved by his parents,” chimed in another.