A new mum has gone viral after giving birth to a girl who ‘looks older than her’ after the baby was born with an extremely rare condition.
The baby girl that looks like an old woman due to a rare condition called p̲r̲o̲g̲e̲r̲i̲a̲, a progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly.
Progeria, also known as H̲u̲t̲c̲h̲i̲n̲s̲o̲n̲-̲G̲i̲l̲f̲o̲r̲d̲ ̲p̲r̲o̲g̲e̲r̲i̲a̲ ̲s̲y̲n̲d̲r̲o̲m̲e̲ ̲(̲H̲G̲P̲S̲)̲ is caused by a mutation (change) in the lamin ̲(̲L̲M̲N̲A̲)̲ gene.
It was gathered that the lady delivered the baby girl at home in Libode, in Eastern Cape after the ambulance her grandmother called failed to show up on time.
After her birth, local mid-wives including the baby’s grandmother noticed that she exhibited signs that were different from most babies. Her hands are d̲e̲f̲o̲r̲m̲e̲d̲ and her skin was wrinkled.
The development got the mid-wives and the grandmother of the child worried and they immediately moved the baby to a hospital where she is currently with her mother.
After snaps of the newborn were posted online, some commented that she looked like “an old woman”.
Director of children’s rights organization, Khula Community Development Project, Petros Majola, believes communities need to be educated about this condition.
“Communities must know that the mother did not apply for her baby to be like this. In a woman’s womb, there is no construction or factory that builds babies. People need to embrace this child for who she is,” says Majola.
As of 2020, the Progeria Research Foundation International Progeria Registry identified a total of 131 children and young adults living with progeria worldwide.