Quetta’s ‘solar kids’ turn to normal life after treatment at PIMS
Abdul Rasheed (L), nine, and Shoaib Ahmed, 13, at a hospital in Islamabad. Photograph: B.K. Bangash/AP

Quetta’s ‘solar kids’ turn to normal life after treatment at PIMS

‘Solar kids’ who stop moving at night baffles doctors in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – ‘Solar kids’, the brothers who remained active during day but lapsed into vegetative state, unable to move or walk once the sun goes down, have turned to normal life after being treated at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad.

The children reached Lahore after a journey of 17 hours. The kids were examined by the medical board of the Centre for Excellence in Microbiology of the University of the Punjab. Over 200 tests including DNA test, blood test and brain test were recommended by the doctors. A checkup of the children was held in the Jinnah Hospital as well after which they were shifted to PIMS hospital in Islamabad. ‘Solar kids’ who stop moving at night baffles doctors in Pakistan.

“It is a rare medical condition we have never encountered before and we investigating it,” PIMS Chancellor Dr Javed Akram said.

The brothers were admitted to PIMS in Islamabad for tests and possible treatment. A nine-member board was formed to conduct tests while blood samples and test reports have already been sent to 13 international collaborators, including Mayo Clinic and John Hopkins Medical Institute in the US and Guys Hospital in London.

According to the early diagnoses, the two may be suffering from a congenital disease called Masthenia Syndrome which is a rare illness with only 600 cases reported all over the world so far.

Hashim, father of the affected children, has also expressed his delight over the improving condition of his children.

During the day, 13-year old Shoaib Ahmed and his brother Abdul Rasheed did indeed seem normally active, energetic and cheerful as they emerged from their hospital room and walked to a nearby canteen to have tea. “I will become a teacher,” Shoaib Ahmed told, while his younger brother said he wants to be an Islamic scholar.

Mohammad Hashim comes from a village near Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province. He and his wife are first cousins and two of their six children died at an early age. Their other two children have not displayed any unusual symptoms.

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