A man from Chennai, India, has fought against the odds for most of his life. Although doctors told his parents that he would die within weeks after being born, Arun Rajasingh has made it to 34-years-old. He even graduated from an engineering college. What makes his story so bizarre is that he has accomplished all of this while suffering from a rare genetic disorder that has caused his legs to swell to five times their normal size.

Elephant Leg

Arun has gained the nickname of ‘The Elephant Man’ due to the fact that his right leg has swelled to over 220 pounds, roughly the same weight as a newborn elephant calf. However, unlike the more famous Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick from England, Rajasingh had been able to live a relatively normal life. However, over the last three years, Arun’s left leg has also begun swelling, although it is currently only half the size and weight of his right leg.

Elephant Leg

The excessive fluid and growths in the man’s legs make it nearly impossible for them to bend. As a result, Rajasingh is reliant on a wheelchair whenever he needs to move around. He also needs the assistance of nurses for simple tasks, such as getting dressed and using the bathroom. His legs have increased in size on a regular basis, despite the fact that he undergoes weekly physical therapy sessions. Because doctors remain puzzled about the underlying cause of the swelling, and no cure has been discovered, the physical therapy exercises are a bit touch-and-go. They include foot massages as well as the physical therapist standing on Arun’s right leg in an effort to loosen the muscles.

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Despite the challenges he’s faced so far, Rajasingh remains positive. He is working with physicians from around the world and believes that they will eventually develop a cure. In the meantime, he plans to put his engineering degree to good use by starting a software company like his idol, Steve Jobs.

Elephant Leg

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Pammy Lin

Pammy Lin

I'm a travel writer based in Washington state. I'm on the road over 200 days every year and have visited over 70 countries.