Progeria patient Rupesh dies at 23
PRAYAGRAJ: A 23-year-old youth Rupesh, who suffered from the rare disease progeria, died on Wednesday night and was cremated at Leelapur ghat on Thursday.
Progeria is a rare genetic disease which causes a person to age prematurely. The patient may be a child but normal growth is hampered and the appearance is like an aged person with wrinkles and hair fall. Doctors say that a progeria patient usually survives for 20 years.
The second son of trolley puller Rampati Bhartiya of Dhanecha village of trans-Ganga, Rupesh showed symptoms of progeria some years after his birth. His parents visited many doctors but no one was able to cure him. The doctors at a medical camp diagnosed the disease as progeria but no steps were taken for treatment. Rupesh’s parents also accepted it as an act of God.
However, Rupesh’s mother Shanti Devi took good care of him and the family rejected the offer of a local circus to take him away in return for ₹4 lakh.
In 2017, Dr Girish of local Ashutosh Memorial Trust started taking care of Rupesh and he provided all possible treatment.
He made the family aware of Amitabh Bachhan’s movie ‘Pa’ which was based on a progeria patient.
The administration also came forward for Rupesh’s help when news about his plight was published in Hindustan Times.
Dr Girish said that Rupesh’s memory was strong. He was good at aiming glass balls and often used to laugh in front of the mirror. He was provided with a mobile for listening to music but his diet was quite low. He said he wished Rupesh could have broken the record of Liyon Botha (26) of South Africa who was the longest progeria survivor .