Nobody has it easy these days, not even actors and actresses. The one thing that keeps us all trudging along though is hope, whether that hope entails faith in a returning Messiah, dreams of fame or fortune, or just the anticipation of a hot meal at the local homeless shelter.
Sometimes though, we become so enamored with our own burdens that we lose sight of hope. Perhaps the following stories of brave, albeit unfortunate souls will help relieve these burdens by reminding us that things could always be far worse.
The Horny Grandma
Granny Zhao — as she is formerly known — is an elderly lady from Zhanjiang who sports her own horn. According to her family, the horn appeared approximately 3 years ago as just a tiny mole; but unlike a mole, it never stopped growing.
It now juts out from the middle of her forehead, which in turn has affected her vision: “It causes me no discomfort, but blocks part of my view.”
Meet Liu Hau from Jiangsu. Since birth, Hau’s left hand has been plagued with a ridiculously over-sized thumb, index finger, and middle finger. This condition is formerly known as macrodactyly, and is a form of local gigantism.
Hau underwent surgery at a Shanghai hospital in late 2007, during which approximately 5.1kg of flesh & bone were removed.
The Tree-Trunk Leg
Chen Zongtao has never once performed a squat; yet, his body houses a leg that weighs over 150 pounds just by itself. The growth originally began on Chen’s right foot when he was just a child, but soon spread to his entire right leg. Years later and the colossal leg has left Chen unable to get up, let alone just walk through his own home.
Doctors say that he suffers from neurofibroma, a nerve-based tumor that is typically benign. It is not known for certain whether he ever received treatment for his condition.
Pictured above is Huang Chuncais, better known as the ‘Chinese Elephant Man.’ He suffers from a form of elephantiasis that has over the years morphed into a giant 15kg tumor so heavy that it pulls his facial skin downward.
After a long and troubling life that has made it difficult for Huang to just sip on some soup, he was finally offered free assistance from the doctors at the Fuda Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou.
Below is a picture of Huang taken in January 2008 after his second surgery.
The Man With A Twin
One might suspect that Nagpur resident Sanju Bhagat is a serious alcoholic with an enormous beer belly; but that, I assure you, is far from the truth. Throughout his life, the 36-year-old farmer just figured he was the victim of a tumor.
During an evening in June 1999, however, doctors attempting to remove the bulge discovered that Sanju’s stomach contained the dead body of his barely developed twin brother instead.
The bundle of joy pictured above lying by her Mother is Lakshmi Tatma, a charming young damsel who was born with 4 legs and 4 arms. The condition came about when her ‘parasistic twin’ stopped developing in her mother’s womb. Lakshmi’s body absorbed the remaining limbs, resulting in her being born a human octupus, per se.
Many in India were shocked to the core by her birth, as they believed her to be the reincarnation of the eight-limbed Hindu God Lakshmi. After two years, she finally received surgery for her condition, and now lives her life as a normal child.
The Indonesian Tree Man known as Dede suffers from a combination of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and a genetic disorder. The result has been a nonstop growth of bark-like warts that have gradually been taking over his body.
Despite being constantly taunted, losing his job, and having his wife desert him, Dede has continued on as the proud father of two children. This dedicated Papa was finally rewarded for his perseverance by an American doctor who promised a cure.
The Gigantic Face
Little Lai Ti Dao is a petite girl who suffered from a Schwannoma tumor, which initially began as a mere lump in her throat, but then blew up into an over-sized tumor that threatened to kill her.
Not only was it so large that Lai could barely walk, but it was gradually cutting off her airway as well. Thankfully, she was flown out to Miami in 2008 and finally, after a 10-hour surgery, freed of 10 pound tumor.
Nguyen Xuan Minh was only 5 years old when the picture above was taken at the Tu Du Hospital in 2005. His unknown condition features an elongated head with bulging eyes, but has doctors baffled as to why.
Most people believe that Nguyen is likely an unfortunate victim of the defoliant Agent Orange, which was used by American forces during the Vietnam war.
Due to his parents’ exposure to the chemical, Nguyen was born deformed and will likely live the rest of his life as such.
The Stunted Fingers
Le Thi Hoa is yet another young soul deformed from exposure to Agent Orange. She was born with stunted fingers; that, however, has not stopped her from writing with ‘excellent penmanship.’
Sadly, both Le and Nguyen are two out of hundreds of thousands of victims who must deal with the long-lasting effects of Agent Orange. For more details, please view the video below.