Twelve-year-old Bithi Akhtar of Bangladesh suffers from hypertrichosis, which is also known as “werewolf syndrome-a condition that causes hair to grow all over her body. Her face, hands and legs are covered with black hackle-like strands.
To make matters worse Bithi also suffers from a condition that causes her breasts to grow at an abnormal rate – an illness so severe that her 12-year-old frame cannot hold the weight and preventing her from standing up. Her breast condition is so severe that it has forced her to leave school.
Her mother Beauty Akhtar, 27, said: “My daughter was born with thick black hair that looked like wool all over her body. I think she got the ‘disease’ in my womb. “But last year, she complained of pain in her chest. I understood it was natural as she was hitting puberty but her growth was again abnormal. Her breasts grew so fast that they became really heavy and started sagging below her stomach”
“She would cry all day long because of the immense pain due to the weight. She could not walk or sit straight. Despite being a bright student, my daughter had to stop attending school because of the pain and jibes attacked by peers,” added Ms Akhtar, whose other children-two boys aged nine and seven do not suffer any conditions.
Her father, Abdur Razzak, who ferries passengers on a rented motorcycle and makes £30 a day, took a loan from bank and brought her to Dhaka, the capital city, and admitted her at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujb Medical College.
“I have already spent a lot of money on her treatment even though that has not paid off well. But my daughter’s condition has shattered me. I am heartbroken to see her in pain and live a life of recluse,” he said. “I want to give her a normal life and I am determined to get help from specialists. I borrowed £100 from bank and brought her straight to the hospital. I am hoping they will give the best treatment to Bithi,” he added.
Doctors at the medical college are now looking for possible treatment for curing the girl. Dr Farid Uddin, the Head of Department of Hormones at the hospital said: “This looks like a severe case of abnormal hormones. While we think some of the problems will go away with medicine, we are yet to ascertain her medical history and causes and start the treatment.”