Category: Weird Articles
Published on Friday, 16 August 2013 00:00
When little Rahul was first placed in his mother’s arms, her heart soared with joy at meeting her healthy baby boy after 9 long, tiring months of carrying him in her belly. However nine days later, she found something terribly wrong with Rahul, something that defies all laws of science. He has the ability of spontaneously combusting into flames à la Jack Jack from The Incredibles.
Rahul, a three-month-old baby from Villupuram, India is believed by doctors to suffer from a rare condition known as Spontaneous Human Combustion. Yes, that actually exists outside superhero comics. Strange enough though, the condition is not as rare as one might think, more than 200 spontaneous human combustion cases have been recorded in the last three centuries.
Rahul’s mother, Rajeswari, found her baby boy engulfed in flames nine days after his birth, and scampered to put the fire out.
“People thought I set him on fire deliberately,” Rajeswari said.
It was not even a one-time off incident. Baby Rahul went on to suffer three more similar accidents which resulted in the village community ostracizing Rajeswari and her family.
Unfortunately for Rahul, he would not be able to hone his fire ability and use it for the greater good of mankind as he is susceptible to burns from the flames. The baby boy is currently at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital (KMC) being treated for extensive burn injuries. The doctors at KMC informed his parents of his unusual condition. Dr. Narayana Babu, head of paediatrics at the hospital said that the baby was referred to the hospital by the Villupuram collector.
“The dean got a call from the collector and the child came to us on Thursday evening. We researched online and found that over the past 300 years, 200 such cases were reported. The last reported case was of a 73-year-old man who died in his sleep, after going up in flames, in Wales, England, in 1995,” Dr. Babu said.
In the paediatric intensive care unit where Rahul is admitted, the authorities have placed a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher near the baby’s bed to tackle any emergency.
Terming it a “rarest of rare occurrence”, Dr. Babu explained that the burns were caused by fire ignited by combustible substances emitted from the body of the child. The fluids were escaping the body without breaking down to non-combustible forms, due to an unknown mechanism.
“It has been scientifically documented that concentrated combustion air excreted from the body could result in such episodes. In elderly persons, heavy drinking could lead to the body excreting alcohol-like substance which could get ignited,” Dr. Babu said.
“The baby should be kept in a cool and aerated space and should always be kept away from inflammatory articles and never be exposed to the hot sun for long. Further, the infant should also be clothed with fire-proof attire,” Dr. Babu adviced. He also pointed out that there could be a risk of a fire being ignited internally. “We have specialists in skin, kidney, and burns departments monitoring the baby, besides a dedicated team of doctors monitoring his progress round the clock.”
Rahul’s father, Karnan, is incredibly upset about the entire incident. He expresses his worries of the other villagers being afraid of the child and believing that the infant is being haunted by an evil force that triggers the fire.
Rahul’s family might be going about handling the situation in a wrong way. Rather than simply taking the villagers’ criticisms and insults, they should step up and proudly proclaim how incredibly special their child is. For all you know, the villagers might take to worshipping him like he’s a god. Kind of like how the other time in India people started worshipping a baby girl born with two faces in a north Indian village whom they believe to be the reincarnation of the Hindu god, Lord Ganesha.