A 3-month-old baby in India has an incredibly rare disease that has caused him, in his short life, to burst into flames on four separate occasions. Oh yes. You read that right. This poor baby has to sleep next to a fire extinguisher because he may spontaneously combust at any moment.
Though very, very rare, it's possible that a person can have this issue. There have been 200 such cases in the past 300 years. At first, people blamed the mother and she suffered social ostracization because of it. But now, even a doctor has confirmed that this child has an incredibly rare syndrome in which the tiniest spark or flame can cause a human to burst into flames.
The doctor says:
We have to teach them to avoid sending the child out in the sun and specify the kinds of clothes he can wear when he grows up. Matchsticks, crackers, or anything that can catch fire should not be kept near him.
Can you even imagine? This is worse than any food allergy or illness a child could possibly have. One tiny bit of exposure to the sun and it could be all over. Even worse, this poor mother. I am sure many people doubted her story. After all, it's easy to doubt. Spontaneous combustion is largely considered a myth, something people have made up. And yet, it seems it isn't. It's just extremely rare.
Each time the baby named Rahul has burst into flames, he has been burned severely and he is only 3 months old. For these parents, getting this child to adulthood is going to be an incredibly long and painful and frightening process.
Forget turning on a gas oven or stove near this child or lighting a candle or going out in the midday sun. Everything is going to be a challenge.
It's good to publicize the story so that people know it's possible and families need not suffer in shame and silence. But still. When you bring a new baby home, this is the last kind of thing you would ever expect to be dealing with. It's just beyond comprehension. Perhaps the more people talk about it, the more help this mom will get. Lord knows, she will need it.
Have you ever heard of anything like this?
Image via Thomas's Pics/Flickr