Although he’s only 30, Yuan Taiping from Chongqing in southwest China, looks like an 80-year-old man. He suffers from a bizarre medical condition that’s caused his skin to age prematurely. He’s visited numerous doctors, but no one has been able to find him a cure so far.
Yuan, who works as a manager at a construction company, looked normal until the age of 20. But then he noticed changes on his face and body – he developed oedemas on his arms and legs and deep lines on his face. At first he thought it was due to stress, but when wrinkles appeared on his forehead, he realised that something wasn’t right. So he decided to get medical help, but in spite of visiting countless hospitals and taking lots of medication in the past decade, nothing has worked.
Photo: People Online
“I was born in 1985,” Yuan told local media. “My illness began when I was about 21 years old – it’s been nine years now. When it began, my hands and feet started swelling, and then wrinkles appeared on my face. Now it’s just getting worse and worse every year. I also feel more fatigued as the years go on.”
Yuan’s appearance has affected his life in many ways. He doesn’t look anything like his ID photograph anymore, so official transactions have become a nightmare. He also has to deal with extreme reactions from strangers in public. “Every time I go out with my husband, people will stare at us like we’re abnormal,” his wife said. “Some would say that I’m so young, why am I with an old man.” She added that despite his condition, she loves Yuan very much.
Photo: video caption
His symptoms are yet to be diagnosed, but other people in his area are also beginning to develop the condition, including Yuan’s younger brother Yuan Taihua. At age 25, he’s currently suffering with oedema and has to visit the hospital regularly to drain the excess fluid. Two other people from the same village and another person from a neighboring village have reported similar symptoms. So the condition isn’t hereditary, and Yuan has ruled out environmental factors – he says the area is relatively unpolluted.
Until someone discovers the cause and a cure, it looks like poor Yuan will have to suffer with the mysterious illness. “I am asking the public for help,” he pleaded. “Please, somebody, help me find the root of my condition and teach me how to cure it.”
Photo: video caption
This isn’t the first time we’ve encountered mysterious cases of premature aging. Nguyen Thi Phuong was 26 when we wrote about her in 2011, but she could easily pass for a 70-year-old woman. Her condition had started with a seafood rash and the medication she took only worsened her condition until she was barely recognisable. Last year, we wrote about Hu Juan, 28, who began to rapidly age after childbirth, eventually looking like a grandma.
via Fox News/CEN