I came across this article about people who age unusually slowly, something I had never heard of before.
Gabby Williams has the facial features and skin of a newborn, and she is just as dependent. Her mother feeds, diapers and cradles her tiny frame as she did the day she was born.
The little girl from Billings, Mont., is 8 years old, but weighs only 11 pounds. Gabby has a mysterious condition, shared by only a handful of others in the world, that slows her rate of aging.
A 29-year-old Florida man has the body of a 10-year-old, and a 31-year-old Brazilian woman is the size of a 2-year-old. Like Gabby, neither seems to grow older.
Scientists are studying such people to learn about the aging process, to see if they can find a ‘stop switch’ for the maturation process that can be turned off. If that were the case, admittedly far-fetched at the moment, people would be able to stop the aging process when they reach adulthood. Then they reach a static state of biological development and would die only because of disease and accidents.
But the people who now have the slow aging syndrome are accompanied by a host of other problems. “Not only do the people [Richard Walker]’s studying have a growth rate of one-fifth the speed of others, but they live with a variety of other medical problems, including deafness, the inability to walk, eat or even speak.”
Aging slowly seems appealing at first but is actually very sad.