Certain conditions may leave people with life altering physical disabilities but thanks to progress achieved by medical science, most of these can be diagnosed. But in many parts of the world, lack of awareness and social stigma make things worse for people who are often mocked for their deformities.
53-year-old Muhammad Saleem from Pakistan suffers from hereditary lymphedema which has caused his legs to balloon making his life difficult. His feet have grown to a massive 23 cm in circumference and this has led to him being labelled elephant man by locals.
He is unable to move without help from his wife as he can’t stand for more than two minutes because of the size and weight of his legs. Muhammad Saleem has to depend on others for money as he is unable to afford treatment for his condition.
The disorder was passed on the Muhammad from his mother and although he had it since birth, things got worse once he attained puberty. His father consulted doctors but refused to go ahead with amputation which they said was the only way to save his life.
Muhammad says he is thankful for his father’s decision since he still has his legs and can walk even though it’s difficult.