19-Year-Old Girl Who Stopped Growing at 6 Months Lives in a Plastic Bowl, But She Thanks God

International   |   Emily Derois   |   Aug 8, 2016   |   9:25AM   |   Lagos, Nigeria

Rahma Haruna has spent most of her 19 years living in a plastic container that her family uses to carry her around.

The Nigerian girl was a healthy infant, but when she turned six months old her family noticed that something was wrong, The Daily Mail reported. She suddenly ceased to develop and grow.

Rahma has a rare and mysterious condition that causes her a great deal of pain. She doesn’t have any limbs, and her family has to carry her around and feed her every day.

Despite her condition, Rahma is a bright, happy girl of 19 with the hope to one day open her own store.

Her mother Fadi told the news outlet: “From six months when she learnt how to sit that was when it began. She didn’t learn how to crawl. She started with a fever and that was it. Then stomach pains. Then her body parts like hands and legs. She cannot use any if the ache strikes.”

Rahma’s family tries to provide her with a full and happy life. They carry her around their village in a plastic bowl. Her 10-year-old brother Fahad is especially close to his sister, and enjoys spending time with her, according to the report.

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“I help her in many ways. Bathing her is another thing I do. And taking her out everyday,” Fahad said. “I feel happy whenever I see people helping her. I like talking to our relatives. She feels happy when we visit them.”

The Haruna family have been searching for a diagnosis to Rahma’s condition. Her father Hussaini described their efforts: “I’ve spent 15 years searching for the cure. I farm, go to the market and lots more looking for money to pay for her bills. I sold almost everything in my possession. Have spent more than one million naira ($3,100), so far. Only God knows the real amount of what I had spent.”

The family began receiving help after the press released her incredible story. She now has a wheelchair to replace the plastic container that she used to be carried in, Catholic Online reports. The Harunas hope that a medical specialist will hear Rahma’s story and help her.

Her mother said: “We once went to a supermarket and we met someone who bought her wheels. He snapped our photo and it was published in the local papers. Since then we have been getting help from people.”

Rahma remains hopeful for the future. She already knows what she wants to do with her life.

“I thank God in everything I do,” she said. “I want to start a business. A grocery store and anything people buy, that is what I want.”

Rahma’s story is one of courage and love. Despite her disability, her family has supported and cared for her. In turn, Rahma has blessed their lives and is inspiring others. She reminds us of the beauty and potential in every life.