In these modern times, we all know that there is no such thing as a devil’s child. But this is precisely what an eight-year-old boy had to go through as he was dubbed as son of the devil.
The boy named Kaleem from Jharkhand State was born with an unusual condition wherein his hands and arms grow until they were as heavy as stones.
Suffering from a rare form of giantism, his hands have grown disproportionately large that he must undergone dramatic surgery to make them normal. But the other more compelling reason for surgery, is that Kaleem has been suffering as well due to the bullying of other children.
Branded as a devil’s child, he earned the wrath of the superstitious members of his village.
What’s even sadder is that school teachers turned down Kaleem’s admission so that he wouldn’t scare other children.
As he grew older, daily tasks such as dressing, feeding himself and bathing is difficult for him.
Because of his parents modest wages, even for a poor area in India, their earnings are not enough to cover His treatments. Kaleem’s parents have always been supportive, but in their low moments, they consider his condition and challenge as “God’s will”
One good thing however, is that after Kaleem’s story went viral, he is now being helped financially and by medical experts in South India. The Boy with the Giant Hands was featured in the Channel 5 documentary, as he and his family prepare for life-changing surgery.
The Mohammad family travel thousands of miles from their village to Tamil Nadu, to see Dr Raja Sabapathy – a pioneering hand surgeon who is known for his expertise in micro surgery and his team of leading surgeons at Ganga Hospital, Combiatore. Dr Sabapathy is convinced he can improve the function in Kaleem’s hands.
Sabapathy was the first doctor who gave the family hope after seeing Kaleem.
“He was the first doctor who told us that some sort of remedy was possible to help our son,” said Haleema Begum, Kaleem’s mother.
However, Dr.Sabapathy admits that Kaleem’s condition is very rare and complex. And his team will have to find a way to reduce the hands, yet not damage any of his nerves so he can use them normally.
“We decided to go for just one hand to begin with. This was our best way to assess the condition,’ said Dr Sabapathy. ‘At the same time, we did not want to affect the boy’s mobility.”
The docmentary shows the family as Kaleem faces an eight-hour surgery to debulk his forearm and hand, and further surgeries to lessen the growth plates so that his hand and fingers stop growing.
Kaleem undergoes a series of difficult operations, and having physiotherapy to try to help him utilize his new hand. Next in line is his left hand.
But there are still some superstitious people in the village who thinks the surgery will be useless as he is cursed.
Even his own uncle believes that because his mother visited latrines when she was pregnant with Kaleem that it could have infected him with “demons”.
“There is no treatment for this boy. He is a devil’s child. This is just because his parents must have committed a wrong deed at some point in their life,” said Mohammad Kaleem, Shamim’s brother.
Sadly, other villagers continue to believe the myth. But Kaleem’s parents decided to follow Dr Sabapathy’s advice.
“We knew that there is no such thing as a devil’s child. The villagers love to gossip and that is what they are doing about our son. Ultimately, he is our son and we have to take care of him,” said Shamim.
Back in their village, Shamim and Haleema faced an even harder challenge of overcoming negative reactions of family and neighbours so that Kaleem could be back to normal.
Amanullah Khan, a village elder, said: “It seems that a solution is possible. Here in the village, we thought that the boy was cursed by God. But we think there is a change of fortunes now and the boy might have a better future.”
Shamim is now very happy, his son may be able to be able to go to school and have a better future ahead of him.
Mohammad Sabir, the local school headmaster, said: “We know Kaleem. He had tried to take admission in the school, but for certain reasons we could not accommodate him. We’ve now had news that he is being treated. With improvement in his hand, we feel that he can begin classes. We are also instructing our schoolchildren to not bully Kaleem.”
Watch the full documentary:
H/T: Mirror | Daily Mail
Indeed, it takes real faith in family and in other people to overcome what Kaleem has gone through. Perhaps because the biggest part of his body is his heart.