If there’s one thing my family and friends know about me, it’s that I have an intense fascination with medical phenomena. I first discovered this passion when my parents let me watch a C-section being performed on TV. This was awesome. I’m not even sure I knew where babies came from at that point, but I don’t think I cared. My interest in medicine grew over the years and my dreams came true when I found the greatest TV channel ever created: the Discovery Health Channel. When I first began watching as a teenager, this was the only channel I could find that aired health-related documentaries on a regular basis. Luckily, other channels, such as TLC, started airing similar programming more frequently (and thank goodness).
About a year ago, I stumbled upon one of these gems. It was a documentary entitled “Child Frozen In Time.” It was about a little girl named Brooke. But, she was not like most children. She was a 16-year-old girl who never grew. No, seriously, she NEVER GREW! For unknown reasons, her physical development suddenly stopped when she was a baby. I was instantly captivated.
Brooke’s parents appeared to be wonderful people. Although she was essentially an eternal toddler, they gave her the same attention they did their other kids. They celebrated her birthdays, took her shopping, etc. It was interesting to listen to her family talk about how she didn’t age like everyone else, but it was remarkable to see photos of her through the years. In each picture, you could see her sisters getting bigger, while Brooke remained unchanged.
Medical experts provided their input, all stating that this was unlike anything they had ever seen. This was truly a medical mystery. How was this possible? Nobody knew. However, they said that Brooke could hold the answers to a plethora of medicine’s greatest questions. Could her DNA be the key to discovering the so-called fountain of youth? Or, could researchers use this information to find a cure for cancer? After all, cancer is the abnormal growth of cells and Brooke’s body had essentially stopped growing altogether. I’m not sure if Brooke’s parents have allowed researchers to study her, but that would be great if they could do so without harming her. The sad part of the story is that, assuming Brooke continues to remain healthy, her parents will be forced to make some difficult decisions, like who will take care of her as they become older.
I definitely recommend that you watch this show if you get the chance. I know it re-airs from time to time. I’ve watched it twice. I’ve also forced my roommate to watch it with me. Her dad is a doctor and, as we normally do when we have medical questions, we called him to get his thoughts. He was puzzled as well, which is rare because he knows everything.
This got me thinking…if Brooke was a 16-year-old girl trapped in a baby’s body, was it possible that I was an elderly woman trapped in a 26-year-old’s body? Now, I know what you’re thinking- “that’s just ridiculous.” But is it? Let’s look at the facts. I have an affinity for the following:
- Wearing sweaters (sometimes on top of another sweater)
- Large print
- Warm beverages
- Peace and quiet
The science is certainly not an issue now that we know Brooke’s story. I also have several gray hairs. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how to explain the date on my birth certificate. I’ll have to get back to you on that.
If you haven’t already started, go ahead and think about whether or not this could be happening to you. Obviously I’m not a medical expert, so if you suspect that you could be growing at an atypical rate, please consult your doctor. Feel free to reference this posting if he or she looks at you like you’re a complete idiot.