Two UK twin sisters turning to stone by rare medical condition

Two UK twin sisters turning to stone by rare medical condition

Dublin,July18:Two  26-year-old twin sisters, Zoe Buxton and Lucy Fretwell, from Northern Ireland, slowly turning to stone. If reports are to be believed, they are one of just three twins across the globe to have the rare condition. If you have heard about this or have come across this WhatsApp forward, then read to know what is it and what it means to live with this condition.

FOP — What is it?

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare genetic condition that affects one in two million people in the world [1]. In this condition, the bones form in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues. This causes the bones to replace the muscles and tendons forming a second skeleton. As the bones develop across the joints, it restricts the movement.

A child suffering from this condition appears healthy, although bent great toes are observed at birth. In most cases, the kids lead a normal, active life although, in some cases, they might have impaired neck movement. Another common symptom of FOP is impaired hearing. As the child grows (around five years), she might experience painful swellings that develop into hard bumps containing bone. These events start to appear in the upper back and neck and slowly progresses to the trunk, arms and legs .

Hence, people suffering from this rare genetic condition have shortened big toes at birth, limited movement and swelling. As the condition worsens over time, the body slowly starts to look like a living statue (stone). Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for the condition, but the treatment is aimed at relieving pain and improving the quality of life of the patients.