four-year-old Bayezid Hossain has been born with an incredibly rare condition that has left him looking like an 80-year-old man .
The little boy’s condition means he suffers from a swollen face, sagging skin, aching joints and hollow eyes – which he may never find a cure for.
Bayezid, from outside Magura in southern Bangladesh, also has difficulties passing urine and already has weak and broken teeth.
Children in his village, where he is affectionately referred to as ‘old man,’ were afraid to play with him at first – even though his father says he is much smarter than others the same age.
His devastated parents have been told Bayezid is unlikely to live past the age of 15 due to rare condition Progeria and Cutis Laxa.
His 18-year-old mother, Tripti Khatun, who was only aged 14 when she gave birth to him, is amazed at her son’s mental abilities but is devastated when she looks at him – even saying he “looked like an alien” when he was born.
She said: “Bayezid only learned to walk aged three but he had a full set of teeth at three months old.
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“His physical growth is completely abnormal but mentally, he has wonderful conversation, very aware and is very intuitive for his age.
“He does not look like other children. He looks like an old man. As a first time mother I can’t bear the pain of seeing my child like this.”
When Bayezid was born at a government maternity hospital, in 2012, Tripti and her husband Lovelu Hossain, 22, were devastated but doctors had no idea how to treat him.
Tripti said: ‘I was terrified to see him when he was born. He was just flesh and bones. He looked like an alien and it was heartbreaking for me.
Doctors had no idea what to do, they said they had never seen such a baby. They warned us that there was nothing they could do.’
After they returned home news of little Bayezid quickly spread around the village with neighbours lining up outside their home to take a look at Bayezid. But there was little support.
People feared being close to him and often gossiped about the couple’s capabilities as parents.
Tripti married Lovelu, who works as a daily wage labourer and earns Rs 5,000 (£50) a month, when she was just 13-years-old.
They are first cousins, which is normal practice in rural parts of Bangladesh and southern Asia and now live with Lovelu’s parents, grandfather Hashem Shikdar, 50, and grandmother Ayesha Begum, 40.
As Bayezid grew older both his personality and body developed much faster than other children in his village.
Tripti added: ‘He’s very stubborn and knows what he wants, and he gets very impatient. But he’s playful, his mind is very sharp, and he’s full of conversation.’
As time has passed his neighbours have slowly gotten used to his presence and have now fondly tagged him the ‘old man’.
Bayezid doesn’t go to school but he loves to play with his ball, drawing on paper, and even breaking his toys so he can fix them back up again.
Lovelu said he has already spent approximately Rs 4 Lakh (£4,000) since Bayezid was born on seeing different doctors and healers but nothing has changed for the little boy.
He added: ‘We’ve been to hospitals, shrines, fakirs, shamans— whoever suggested whatever.
Yet his situation remains the same and he’s probably getting even worse day by day. Debashis Bishwas, a consultant from Magura Central Hospital, in Magura, met with Bayezid last month and believes he is suffering from an element of Progeria and Cutis Laxa but fears he may only live for 15 years.
He said: ‘”His signs suggest he is suffering from a very difficult disease.
“The skin of a Progeria patient start getting loosened like an elderly person months after birth.
“We can only advise the family to get specialized care in a hospital like Dhaka Medical College Hospital or Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka, as there’s no treatment here.”
Lovelu understands there may not be a cure for his son’s condition but he fears their poor condition means Bayezid is not getting the best possible chance of survival.
He added: “His mother is in uncontrollable tears all the time. It has been four years now and nothing has changed.
“It is so painful to see that our first child suffers a disease we cannot even treat.
“We’d like more children but we’re too scared.
“We feel very helpless. Like every other parent, we want our baby to live a long and healthy life but we feel only a miracle will save us now.”