We bring to you the curious case of a real-life Benjamin Button, with a twist. A Brazilian woman, who has neither aged, nor is getting any younger. Born on May 7, 1981, Maria Audete do Nascimento still has the body of a baby.
Maria belongs to a poor family, living in a mud house in Ceara, Brazil. Her family consists of her father and his second wife, who has been caring for her ever since her own mother died, 13 years ago. The family cannot afford to provide any form of treatment for Maria, whose condition could have been reversed if treated at birth. For now, she continues to live like a baby, unable to tend to her own needs, and unable, even to speak. The home in which Maria lives, however poor, does not seem short of love. Her step-mother, Dora, has taken care of the woman-child since the day she was married. Dora believes that it is the passion of her life, and that the child was sent to her as a gift of God, to take care of.
Experts from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ceara believe that what Maria suffers from is a severe deficiency of the thyroid hormone. As a result of hypothyroidism, her body was never able to develop physically or mentally. They also went on to say that if the case had been identified early on, Maria may have grown up as a normal child. The University has agreed to provide free treatment to Maria, to enable her to be a little more independent – to walk, eat and say a few words. But for now she is, in some ways, what every parent wishes for – a child that never grows up.