Saturday 17 February 2018

Meet Rahma - the teenager with no limbs who lives in a plastic bowl and dreams of running her own business

Rahma who was forced to live her life in a plastic bucket
Rahma who was forced to live her life in a plastic bucket
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A teenage girl who never developed her arms and legs as part of a mysterious illness is now forced to live her life in a plastic bucket.

Rahma Haruna (19) from Kano in Nigeria was born healthy but doctors noticed she stopped hitting developmental milestones as an infant.

“From six months when she learned how to sit, that was when it began,” her mother, Fadi told Barcroft.

“She started with a fever and that was it. Then stomach pains. Then her body parts like hands and legs. She didn’t learn how to crawl,” she said.

Her father Hussaini said he’s spent 15 years “searching for a cure”. The family have spent thousands on experts and treatments for Rahma but nothing has worked.

“I sold almost everything in my possession. I farm, go to the market and lots more looking for money to pay for her bills. Only God knows the real amount of what I had spent,” Hussaini told Barcroft.

Rahma who spends her life being carried around in a bucket and can barely move a muscle said she “thanks God” in everything she does and hopes to have her own grocery shop when she’s older.

Her ten-year-old brother Fahad and the rest of her family spend their days begging for change and donations for Rahma as well as washing her, helping her eat and bringing her to visit family.

“I help her in many ways,” said her brother Fahad. “Bathing her is another thing I do and taking her out everyday. I like taking to our relatives. She feels happy when we visit them.”

“They help me a lot, they give me anything I need,” said Rahma.

After being launched into the spotlight Rahma has received gifts and donations, including a wheelchair.

“We once went to a supermarket and we met someone who bought her wheels. I feel happy whenever I see people helping her,” said Fahad.

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