An 8-year-old boy in India has carried a heavy burden since his birth. Mohammad Kaleem, an avid cricket fan, is unable to do many basic tasks many kids his age do, like tying his shoe laces, due to the epic size of his hands, which weigh roughly 18 pounds each and measure 13 inches from the base of his palms to the end of his middle fingers. Doctors fear continual growth of Kaleem’s hands may put increased pressure on his cardiovascular system, potentially shortening his life.
— Saqib Masood (@SaqibMasoodPK) August 20, 2014
"This condition looks very rare and I have come across something like this before. Without proper examination and medical tests I am not 100 per cent sure about what this is,” said Dr. Krishan Chugh, head of pediatrics at the state-of-the-art Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon, near Delhi, the Daily Mail reported. Doctors suspect Kaleem has either lymphangioma or hamartoma, both of which are treatable.
Lymphangioma is a condition of the lymphatic system which causes extreme inflammation, according to Medscape, resulting in heavy masses that form in certain parts of the body. Unlike lymphangioma, hamartoma is a benign type of tumor where the body produces excess tissue. Although Kaleem admits he has difficulty to put on his clothes, button his shirt, and pull up his pants, he fears surgery. “I don't know if I want doctors to operate on my hands. They would have to make me unconscious and then they would cut me open,” he says to Barcroft TV. “I have no problem if they could do it without an injection. A small operation would be okay.”
Dr. Ratan, the director of Kaleem’s local hospital considers Kaleem’s condition “extremely rare.” “I have not seen a case in medical journals or on the Internet where only the hands grew to such a large size,” he said. “Until we have done proper genetic testing we will not be able to say exactly what is causing this deformity.”
Kaleem’s parents, Haleema and Shamim Kaleem, have renewed optimism that something can be done for their son after hearing from doctors. “We have tried several places with no solutions so far,” Shamim said. “But I have a feeling there is a way to get the resources to give my son a normal life.”
While Kaleem’s condition is still being evaluated, the Indian boy continues to adapt as he uses two fingers to pick up some things like a glass of water to drink.