The 23-year-old man trapped in a baby’s body: Mysterious condition stopped Indian man’s growth and now locals see him as an incarnation of God
Manpreet Singh was born in 1995 in Punjab, India but now weighs just 11 lbs.
23-year-old stopped growing after a year and needs to be carried everywhere.
He has become a hit with locals and some consider him an incarnation of God.
Scientists believe he has a rare genetic condition but he is yet to be diagnosed.
Manpreet Singh, dubbed the ‘pint-sized man’ by neighbours in Hisar, north west India, weighs just 11 lbs – despite being born in 1995.
Although he was healthy at birth, he stopped growing after a year before he could start to walk or talk and now needs to be taken care of like a toddler and carried everywhere by his uncle and aunt.
His family is at a loss to explain why he stopped growing at such a young age, while local doctors have suggested he may have a hormone imbalance.
Scientists think Manpreet could have Laron Syndrome, a rare genetic condition. But he is yet to receive a diagnosis with his family unable to pay for preliminary investigations which will cost more than £5,000.
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.
A third of those afflicted live in remote villages in Ecuador’s southern Loja province.
Manpreet has one sister, Jaspreet who has just turned 17 and a brother Mangaldeep. Both of them are physically and mentally developed.
Manpreet has swollen palms, feet and a large face with saggy skin and is only able to say a few words, primarily communicating through gestures. While he can laugh, scream and cry, he cannot keep a conversation.
His maternal uncle and aunt take care of him as their own son and say they enjoy his mischief.
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.’
His aunt Lakhwinder Kaur added: ‘Manpreet loves milk cake and eats roti (flattened bread). He loves his morning tea and eats only one or two rotis a day without any mischief.
‘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.’
The couple said that Manpreet enjoys mimicking people – especially his cousin and uncle when they are offering prayers before driving.
‘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 nearby 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 his cousin Mandeep, cuddling his baby brother in his arms.
Doctors have said that they need to carry out a proper investigation of his condition before being able to make a full diagnosis.
Karanvir 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. We appeal to the kind people of the internet to help us raise funds for Manpreet’s treatment,’ said Karanvir, underlining the cost of the investigation and preliminary treatment would be around Rs 500,000 (just under £5,400).
A crowd-funding campaign has been started in Ketto, India’s version of GoFundMe, to raise funds for his treatment.