Eight-year-old Indian boy’s swollen hands are larger than his head

Published: August 20, 2014


Kaleem, an eight-year-old Indian boy suffering from a mystery condition has puzzled doctors after his hands swelled to giant proportions and are larger than his head, the Daily Mail reported.

The boy was born with hands twice the size of an average baby, that have now grown to measure 13 inches from the base of his palm to the tip of his middle finger, according to Kaleem’s mother Haleema.

The boy is unable to eat with his own hands, tie his shoe laces or wear his clothes, according to the Daily Mail. “I find it difficult to put on my clothes, button my shirt and pull up my pants,” he says.

Kaleem has been bullied for most of his life and even beaten up by other kids because of his giant hands that now weigh almost 12 kg. “Many of them used to bully me for my deformity. They would say “let’s beat up the kid with the large hands”,” says Kaleem.

He does not attend school as the headmaster has refused to take his responsibility if other kids bully Kaleem, his parents said.

According to the Daily Mail, the couple earns less than $30 a month. They have desperately been trying to accumulate funds to get their son treated and give him a normal life.

Dr Ratan, the local medical practitioner who assessed Kaleem, is unable to find the cause of this rare condition. He has not come across a similar case in medical journals or on the internet  where only hands grew to such a large size, he said.

Apart from the swollen hands, Kaleem is healthy, with properly functioning lungs and heart, the doctor said. But Kaleem’s growing hands may put pressure on his cardiovascular system, potentially shortening his life.

Another Delhi-based paediatrician, Dr. Krishan Chugh has seen Kaleem’s photos and videos. He believes the boy may be suffering from either lymphangioma or hamartoma – which are both treatable, but cannot be sure until the boy is properly examined.

Kaleem’s parents are being optimistic about his treatment. “We have tried several places with no solutions so far… but I have a feeling there is a way to get the resources to give my son a normal life,” said his father Shamim.

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