|Obese: (From left) Yogita, five, Harsh, 18 months, and Anisha, three, weigh 5st 5lbs (34kg), 2st 5lbs (15kg) and 7st 8lbs (48kg) respectively|
An impoverished father has revealed that he plans to sell his own kidney to fund life-saving treatment for his three morbidly-obese children. Sisters
Yogita Rameshbhai Nandwana, five, and Anisha, three, and their 18-month-old brother Harsh, are among the world's heaviest young children.
5st 5lbs (34kg), 7st 8lbs (48kg) and 2st 5lbs (15kg) respectively, the food they eat in a week is enough to feed two families in a month. Now their father Rameshbhai Nandwana, 34, of Gurjarat, India, is planning to sell his kidney to earn the money needed to see top specialists. He said: ‘If my kids continue to grow at this rapid rate they will have major health issues. We’re terrified they will die.’
‘Their hunger never stops. They demand food all the time and cry and scream if they’re not fed. I am always in the kitchen cooking for them.’ The couple
have one older daughter, Bhavika, six, who weighs an average 2st 7lbs (16kg), and do not know why their other three children are so big. Mr Nandwana said: ‘When Yogita was born she was extremely weak and weighed just 1.5kg (3.3lbs). We were worried for her health. 'So we fed her a lot during the first year of her life to build her strength but by her first birthday she had bloated to 12kg (1st 12lbs).
|Family: Rameshbhai |
‘Our third daughter Anisha also gained weight in similar fashion and by her first birthday she was 15kg. ‘But we only realised they were suffering from a disorder when our son Harsh was born as he too gained weight quickly during his first year. 'We started looking for medical help and consulted many doctors but they would just refer us to bigger hospitals that I couldn’t afford.’
Mr Nandwana earns just Rs 3000 (£35) a month - but usually has sufficient money to buy enough food to fulfil the large appetite of his children. He said: ‘I am a daily wage labour and I usually get paid Rs 100 a
day but there are times when there is no work at all. ‘I work in fields, dig wells, and do whatever menial job I can find to earn money. 'And I’m constantly worried about finding the money to feed my continually hungry children.’ Despite his paltry income, Mr Nandwana spends about Rs 10,000 (£110) a month on food for his children and said he 'cannot leave them starving'
BANANAS, CRISPS AND BISCUITS: TYPICAL DAILY DIET FOR SISTERS YOGITA, FIVE AND ANISHA, THREE
He added: ‘If I don’t have the money, I borrow it from my brothers and friends. But I make sure I feed my children when they need.’ The father has spent Rs 50,000 (£540) on seeing doctors and treatment over the last three years – without any improvement in his children’s condition. He said: ‘No one in our family has a giant frame. Only my children are overweight. As parents, it pains us immensely to see them unable to move.
‘They cannot walk; they cannot do anything on their own. Selling my kidney is a desperate measure. But I’m now desperate to get the right help for my children.’ Miss Ben cannot pick up her children so she has to watch them roll around when her husband is at work - or use a trolley to pull them around. She said: ‘They need me to help them
bath or when they need the toilet. I’m only 40 kg so it’s impossible for me to pick them up. ‘It’s a struggle when my husband is at work.
|Hard-working: Anisha hugs her father Rameshbhai, with Harsh. Mr Nandwana spends about Rs 10,000 (£110) a month on food for his children|
Local doctors believe the children are suffering from Prader-Willi syndrome, but do not know how to treat it. The rare genetic condition causes various symptoms including constant hunger, reduced muscle tone, restricted growth and learning difficulties. Dr Akshay Mandavia, a paediatrician at Mandavia Children's Hospital in Gujarat, said: ‘There is an abnormal accumulation of fat in these children.
‘They’re not able to breathe properly, and they wheeze. Their condition could be due to endocrinal disease or Prader-Willi syndrome. ‘But we can only ascertain the right treatment after a proper diagnosis at one of our top hospitals.’
WHAT IS PRADER-WILLI SYNDROME - AND WHY IT MAY EXPLAIN THE NANDWANAS' PLIGHT
- Daily Mail, UK