The world’s smallest person?


Rabia Iqbal May 02, 2010

MULTAN: Sixteen-year-old Mohammed Tayyab, born in Jalalpur Pirwala, stands 2 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs less than five kilogrammes.

Tayyab was delivered in the spring of 1994 by a midwife at his home and is Riaz Hussain’s third child.

His father recalls, “I was away teaching at Multan when I received word that I had just had another son. I rushed home and was surprised to see how tiny and fragile he was. Tayyab weighed less than three pounds. I was a mixture of joy and concern. My first two children were rather healthy and heavy. I immediately rushed him to a doctor who told me that Tayyab was otherwise hale and hearty. He was just unusually small.”

Doctors at various clinics at Jalalpur Pirwala prescribed drops and syrups and assured Riaz that his son would soon grow to a normal height. The medicines did not help. Multiple trips to various doctors in several cities threw Tayyab into a recurring cycle of tests, pills and needles.

Tayyab was a teenager when his father finally realised that his son was perfectly healthy. He was just a little person. The endearing teenager is high-spirited and very friendly on a good day.

Much like his peers, he wants to be a doctor when he grows up so he can serve his country and make his family proud. He is extremely loved by his four siblings and claims that they are his best friends. His father is a Qari and Tayyab is eagerly learning the Quran along with the rest of the children in his household.

Tayyab is a patriot, loves his country and blushes profusely at the prospect of matrimony. He likes going to the park to run around with his siblings but most days are not easy. He is called names, bullied, shoved and treated like an exotic by neighbours and passers-by.

Schools in his village and Multan have refused to enrol him unsure of how to handle him. Desperate to educate their child, his parents even contacted a school for special children but Tayyab was turned down.

His father said that although Tayyab puts on a brave face, he is very lonely. He does not like leaving the house any longer and shies from social contact. His father states that Tayyab no longer speaks as often and spends his time sitting quietly and praying. He has lost most of his teeth as a result of calcium deficiency and can no longer chew solid food. He persistently complains of extreme headaches. He has had no dislocations as other primordial dwarfs but experiences extreme pain in his joints.

Tayyab’s eyesight and hearing has deteriorated over the years. Tayyab has started spending most of his days in bed as his headaches also bring extreme nausea.

His father stated, “I woke up the other day to say my Tahajjud prayer and saw Tayyab on the prayer mat sobbing hysterically. I really worry about my child and his future.

He is such an innocent, kind-hearted and good-natured person. I really wish I had the means to get him treated and give him a normal chance at life.”

“I have taken him to Nishtar Hospital in Multan, The Children’s Hospital in Lahore and Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur. All the doctors tell me that he needs to be injected with growth hormones and then they quote Rs60,000 as the minimum price for one shot. I do not even earn that much in a month. I do not know what to do. I really wish somebody would help my child,” said Riaz.

A medical expert stated, “Tayyab has all the symptoms of primordial dwarfism and the condition is exceptionally rare. Only 100 reported cases of the condition exist in the world. It is a disorder in which the patient’s growth is proportional but severely delayed right from the mother’s womb. Primordial dwarfs are the smallest people in the world.”

The family hopes they will be contacted by the Guinness World Records when Tayyab turns 18. Riaz stated that he was hopeful that his son would become Pakistan and the world’s shortest person.

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