Sari Rezita Ariyanti looks like a three-year-old girl, but she is actually 24-years-old.
Born in 1993, the second of five children, Sari who weighs 20kg and is 87cm tall, speaks, acts and is as helpless as a child. She also cannot walk and has to be pushed around in a wheel chair.
Sari struggles to speak and only makes sounds which her mother alone can understand. She is totally dependent and lives with her mother, Suryani H Suud and sister Lela in Didie Jaya District, Indonesia.
In spite of her appearance, Sari menstruates every month like every grown woman and as with all else, she has to be assisted by her mother who helps her maintain hygiene during this period.
“I feel very sad. I see my first and third children and they are healthy but Sari is different,” Suryani lamented.
”I was deeply shocked but thanks to God, Sari has siblings who love and take care of her. People would stare at us and others would ask ‘why can’t she walk and why is she so short?’
“When Sari was a baby, I used to take her to the market, and someone asked why does my first child and Sari look so different. I was sad, so I couldn’t answer it.” She continued.
Sari was born a beautiful baby and no one suspected she had a health problem until she was two-years-old and still could not talk or walk. Sari was finally diagnosed at 13 by the medical team at Ibnu Sina Hospital in Sigli City with a hormonal growth disorder and think the most likely diagnosis is Turner Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects one in 2,000 to 2,500 babies – and only occurs in girls.
If treated early the condition can be managed but not cured, but Sari’s family did not have money to seek help early for her.
Doctor Suriadi Umar, Sp. A at Ibnu Sina Hospital, revealed that Sari’s delayed diagnosis could have also contributed to further developmental delays.
“Because of Sari’s hormonal abnormalities, it is possible it affected the motor gland and can make her slower,” Dr. Umar said.
“Because we didn’t see Sari until she was a teenager, the muscles didn’t respond quickly. If we had seen her at the age of six months we could have immediately consulted the parents on Sari’s condition.
“God willing, now we know the core disease, we will see sari slowly move through treatment and physiotherapy.”
Sari now undergoes physiotherapy once a week and her mother nurses the hopes that her daughter will be able to work and lead a full life.
More photos below…