A four-year-old boy resembles an 80-year-old pensioner due to an incredibly rare condition.
In a report published by Dailymail , Bayezid Hossain, from outside Magura, southern Bangladesh, suffers a swollen face, hollow eyes, sagging skin, aching joints, difficulties passing urine and already has weak and broken teeth.
As a result, people in the community stay away from him and children are afraid to play with him, despite him having above average intelligence.
Bayezid is believed to suffer from progeria, which ages the body at eight times the normal rate.
The disorder is said to have inspired the F Scott Fitzgerald novel and Brad Pitt movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, in which the character is born an old man and ages backwards.
Progeria patients normally die from heart attacks or strokes at an average age of 13. Bayezid also has a form of cutis laxa, a rare connective tissue disorder in which the skin hangs loosely in folds.
His 18-year-old mother, Tripti Khatun, says she is amazed at how clever her son is, but it breaks her heart that his appearance is so unusual. She said: ‘Bayezid only learned to walk aged three but he had a full set of teeth at three months old.
‘His physical growth is completely abnormal but mentally, he has wonderful conversation, very aware and is very intuitive for his age.
‘He does not look like other children. He looks like an old man. As a first time mother I can’t bear the pain of seeing my child like this.’
Explaining the devastation that followed her son’s birth, the mother said ‘I was terrified to see him when he was born. He was just flesh and bones. He looked like an alien and it was heartbreaking for me.
‘Doctors had no idea what to do, they said they had never seen such a baby. They warned us that there was nothing they could do.’
After they returned home the news of their abnormal child quickly spread around the village and neighbours lined up outside the family’s home to see him. It is doubted if the fact that Tripti and Lovelu are first cousins might have caused their son’s condition. The couple now live with Lovelu’s parents, grandfather Hashem Shikdar, 50, and grandmother Ayesha Begum, 40.
As Bayezid grew older both his personality and body developed much faster than other children in his village.
Tripti added: ‘He’s very stubborn and knows what he wants, and he gets very impatient. But he’s playful, his mind is very sharp, and he’s full of conversation.’
As time has passed his neighbours have slowly gotten used to his presence and have now fondly tagged him the ‘old man’.
Bayezid doesn’t go to school but he loves to play with his ball, drawing on paper, and even breaking his toys so he can fix them back up again.
Lovelu works as a labourer and earns Rs 5,000 (£50) a month.
He said he has already spent approximately Rs 4 Lakh (£4,000) since Bayezid was born on seeing different doctors and healers but none have been able to treat the condition.
He added: ‘We’ve been to hospitals, shrines, fakirs, shamans— whoever suggested whatever.
‘Yet his situation remains the same and he’s probably getting even worse day by day. My son isn’t a normal baby and it’s tragic for any parent to know that his child will not survive for long.
‘But I am proud of him. He is extremely intelligent compared to other children of his age. His relationship with his cousins is very friendly and funny.
‘He understands his condition but he doesn’t like to talk about it. He just cries when he feels awkward.’
Debashis Bishwas, a consultant from Magura Central Hospital, in Magura, met with Bayezid last month and told his parents he believes he is suffering from progeria and cutis laxa.
He said he fears he may only live for 15 years.
Dr Bishwas said: ‘His signs suggest he is suffering from a very difficult disease.
‘The skin of a Progeria patient start getting loosened like an elderly person months after birth.
‘We can only advise the family to get specialized care in a hospital like Dhaka Medical College Hospital or Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka, as there’s no treatment here.’
Lovelu understands there may not be a cure for his son’s condition but he fears Bayezid is not getting the best possible chance of survival because the family are poor.