Karachi: A nine-year-old Pakistani girl whose head hangs at a 180-degree angle is forced to live as an outcast because people are scared of her.
Afhseen Qumbar, from Mithi in Pakistan's Sindh province, has an unknown muscular disorder, which means she is unable to keep her head upright, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.
The condition means that Afhseen cannot stand or walk properly and is restricted to a sitting position. She also needs help to eat and use the toilet.
Children are scared of her and adults believe her condition is a result of sins. She doesn't go to school and her only friends are her six siblings.
Her father Allah Jurio, 55, and mother Jameelan, 50, say they have consulted several local doctors but have been told they cannot provide treatment for such a rare condition.
The poverty-stricken couple, who rely on their eldest son for financial help, also lack the money or resources to take their daughter for specialist help.
Jameelan said, "It is devastating to see my daughter like this. I cannot see her suffer anymore. None of the doctors here could diagnose her condition. They have advised us to take her to Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre in Karachi. But we do not have money or resources to go to a bigger hospital for treatment."
Afhseen was born a normal baby like her six other siblings, but her life changed after she reached the age of eight months. Jameelan said: "When she was eight months old, she fell on the ground while playing outside the house and hurt her neck. We ignored it initially but as she grew older her problem became complicated. She isn't able to keep her head upright."
Afhseen's unusual condition has forced her to live as a pariah because no one comes close to her.
Jurio told the Mail: "People say bad things about our daughter. They often laugh at her. It really hurts us. We cannot tolerate people's attitudes and discrimination. People avoid her sight so we keep her at home. We want her to study but no one will accept her in school."
Doctors believe Afhseen suffers from a rare case of muscular disorder or anomaly in the spine but suggest only a thorough examination can reveal the cause.
Dilip Kumar, who runs a private clinic in Mithi and has seen Afhseen's case, told the Mail: "This is one of the rarest of rare cases. Her condition could be due to a spine anomaly or muscular disorder, but it can only be concluded after a thorough investigation.
"We don't have the facilities available in Mithi that is why I have suggested to the parents to take her to Karachi where she can have a lifesaving operation."