By Bilal Kuchay
A nine-year-old Pakistani girl is suffering from a rare condition that makes her neck bend and keeps her head hanging at a 180-degree angle.
Afhseen Qumbar has a muscular disorder because she cannot keep her head upright.
The condition means that Afhseen cannot stand or walk properly and is restricted to a sitting position.
The young girl from Mithi in Pakistan’s Singh province even needs help to eat and use the toilet.
Her father Allah Jurio, 55, and mother Jameelan, 50, say they have consulted several doctors but have been told that treatment for such a condition is not available in Mithi.
Jameelan said: “It is devastating to see my daughter like this. I cannot see her suffer anymore.
“None of the doctors here could diagnose her condition.
“They have advised us to take her to Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre in Karachi. But we do not have money or resources to a bigger hospital for treatment.”
Afsheen was born a normal baby like her six other siblings but her life changed after she reached the age of eight months.
“When she was eight months old, she fell on the ground while playing outside the house and got her neck hurt.
“We ignored her condition initially and due to lack of money we used to take her to a local faith healer but her condition never improved.
“As she grew older, her problems became complicated. She isn’t able to keep her head upright at all and often complains of pain in the neck.
“She cannot do anything by herself and needs help in everything. She just sits in a corner and occasionally plays with her siblings,” her mother added.
Both Jameelan and Jurio work on their family farms and do not have a daily job.
Their eldest son Mohmad Yaqoob, 25, who works at a private shop and earns less than £200 a month, runs the household affairs.
“We have to carry her everywhere like a baby but she is nine years old, how will we carry her when she grows even older?” the poor parents worried.
Afsheen’s unusual condition has made her life as a pariah because no one comes close to her.
Children are scared of her and adults believe her condition is a result of sins. She doesn’t go to school and her only friends are her siblings.
Jurio said: “People say bad things about our daughter. They often laugh at her. It really hurts us.
“We cannot tolerate people’s attitudes and discrimination.
“People avoid her sight so we keep her at home. We want her to study but no one will accept her in school.”
Doctors believe Afhseen suffers from a rare case of muscular disorder or anomaly in the spine but suggest only a thorough examination can reveal the cause.
Dr. Dilip Kumar, who runs a private clinic is Mithi, and has seen Afhseen’s case said: “This is one of the rarest of rare cases.
“Her condition could be due to a spine anomaly or muscular disorder, but it can only be concluded after a thorough investigation.
“We don’t have the facilities available in Mithi that is why I have suggested the parents to take her to Karachi where she can have a lifesaving operation.”
Afsheen’s desperate parents plead for help from the Pakistan government.
Jurio says: “If the government comes in for help, our daughter can live a normal life.
“I still have so many hopes and dreams for Afsheen.
“I want to see her go to school and play with other kids. I want to see her living a normal life and I am hoping that my wish will be fulfilled one day” he added.