By Taniya Dutta
A Bangladeshi teenager is suffering from a mysterious condition that has left his hand grow to a whopping 11 pounds and turning his fingers into ‘claws’.
Rajib Gain, 19, from a village in Sathkira in Bangladesh, was born with a tumour in his hand.
Without early diagnosis, the tumour grew so big and spread from his hand to his back and leg that the frail boy weighing just 130 pounds, cannot walk, sleep or change clothes on his own.
He has to keep his hand over his head to balance his body while standing.
“My hand is so heavy that to maintain the balance while walking or standing I have to keep it over my head otherwise I fall. My body cannot take its weight.
“I cannot sleep peacefully. I have never slept peacefully in my life. I cannot change sides and have to lie down in same position whole night. It hurts my back.
“There is always a weird sensation, kind of tingling as if someone is pricking me with thousands of needles,” says Rajib.
The fourth child of Kartik Gain, a carpet maker, and Mamata Rani, Rajib was born a healthy child at home. But it was only after he turned three months old that his mother noticed a pea like lump in his hand.
The conscious parents took him to several hospitals for check-ups, however, the shortage of money forced the poor couple to bring Rajib back home and rely on God’s will.
Raj Sarkar, Rajib’s uncle said: “He was about three months old when his mother realised there was a big lump in his hand. It was hard and moving. At first she thought it was not something to worry about but gradually Rajib’s hand started swelling.
“My brother and his wife consulted several doctors in Bangladesh, even took him to expensive clinics but no doctor could diagnose the condition.
“They borrowed money from relatives and friends and took Rajib to Kolkata in India where doctors told them Rajib has a tumour. But the treatment was costly and beyond their capacity so they brought him back.”
As Rajib grew, the tumour also grew and engulfed his hand, reached his spine and eventually his leg. However, the rare and complex disease did not deter the young boy from studying and making friends.
“Initially, I would feel inferior and think about why God made me like this. But soon I gathered enough confidence to go to school. My father enrolled me into a government-run school in the village.
“It was certainly not easy. Children mocked me for a long time but there were others who sympathised with me and supported me. They helped me when I needed. Eventually with their help I build the confidence back and could focus on studies,” said Rajib, who successfully cleared his high school this year.
Rajib wishes to study further but because of the worsening condition of his hand and restricted movements, he is unable to think of the future.
Dejected by his nephew’s increasing ordeal, Raj Sarkar posted some of his pictures on social media last week.
Luckily, the pictures came to the notice of Health Department after famous activist Mamun Biswas spotted them and shared them on his timeline.
Mamun said: “The pictures were seen by DG Abul Kalam of the Health Department. He has promised help to the boy and has asked the department to take all necessary measures for his treatment.”
Rajib has now been asked to visit doctors at Dhaka Medical College, the premier hospital and medical institute of the country, where doctors will conduct tests and after diagnosis , start his treatment.
He says: “I am thrilled to be meeting these doctors. I am hopeful that they can finally end my ordeal.
“I want to lead a normal life like other boys in my school. I want to study further and work but no one gives me work because either they think I am inefficient because of my hand or they ask for money.
“But if I get treated, I can lead a normal life, find a job and support my father in running the family.”