In a world that often tends to measure success by physical abilities alone, stories of individuals defying the odds serve as a powerful reminder that true greatness lies within. Meet Zain, a remarkable 21-year-old from Mumbai, India, who recently made headlines by scoring an impressive grade in his TYBCom (Third Year Bachelor of Commerce) examinations. What makes Zain’s achievement all the more extraordinary is the fact that he was born with a limb deformity. Undeterred by his physical challenges, his indomitable spirit and determination have catapulted him to academic excellence, proving that he is anything but a "Bechara" (helpless) individual.
Zain said, “During my childhood days I used to feel very awkward among people, but gradually I started accepting myself and things changed automatically.”
Zain was born with Phocomelia
“Phocomelia is a rare congenital disorder characterized by the underdevelopment or absence of limbs, particularly the arms or legs. The condition may be described as shortened or absent limbs, which may be flipper-like or resemble small stumps. The bones in the affected limbs are often underdeveloped or missing, and the fingers or toes may be fused together or absent. In some cases, internal organs and other body structures may also be affected”
Causes of phocomelia
The condition can occur due to various factors, but the most well-known cause of phocomelia is the exposure of the developing fetus to certain dangerous substances during pregnancy.
One of the most notorious examples of a substance causing phocomelia is thalidomide. Thalidomide was a medication that was widely prescribed in the late 1950s and early 1960s to alleviate nausea and insomnia during pregnancy. Tragically, it was later discovered that thalidomide was responsible for causing severe birth defects, including phocomelia. The drug was found to interfere with the normal development of limbs during embryogenesis, leading to malformed or absent limbs in affected babies.
2. Genetic syndrome
Phocomelia can result from genetic mutations that affect limb development.. It’s associated with an abnormality in chromosome 8. Phocomelia is caused by both sex it means both parents need to have the abnormal gene in order for a child to have it.
In some cases, a spontaneous genetic defect may cause phocomelia. This means the mutation is new and isn’t related to an inherited abnormality.
It's important to note that these are just two examples of genetic causes of phocomelia, and there may be other genetic factors involved in specific cases. Additionally, non-genetic factors such as exposure to certain environmental toxins or maternal infections during pregnancy can also contribute to the development of Phocomelia.
Zain’s family said “We were worried about his survival in this evil world, we thought we have to take care of him, but now he is taking care of us. His mother further added, “he hates being called ‘Bechara’ because he believes he can do anything.”