Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Brooke Greenberg is 16-Year-Old Baby that Never Ages

Melanie Greenberg is the mother of 16-year-old Brooke Greenberg. Brooke weighs about 16 pounds and is only 30 inches long. Needless to say, Brook is a medical mystery. See video below.

Brooke Greenberg - 16 Years Old

Brooke's pediatrician from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Lawrence Pakula, said "Many of the best-known names in medicine...had not seen anyone who matched up to Brooke,...she is always a surprise." According to Dr. Richard Walker of the University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa Bay:
Brooke's body is not developing as a coordinated unit, but as independent parts that are out of sync.
We might think that Brooke has a diagnosis of a rare genetic or chromosomal abnormality, but she does not. It's just a mystery. She still has her baby teeth...at 16. Her bones are estimated to be about the same as a 10-year-old's, but there have been "minimal changes in her brains." She does not speak but she expresses herself using typical infant sounds. She laughs and recognizes her sisters, all of whom are healthy and normal in size.

The family says that Brook has the personality of a 16-year-old, especially when she is angry: "Sometimes we joke about how she rebels," say one of her sisters. The little girl seems to have some amazing powers to heal. She has gone through many adversities and come through them all...most leaving no sign that Brooke was ever afflicted. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She slept for 14 days and then awakened with no sign of the tumor. She had a brain seizure and what the doctors thought was a stroke, but she recovered with no damage. She went through growth hormone therapy with no results. She "didn't put on a pound, an ounce; she didn't grown an inch," said her Dad.

The only thing about Brooke that grows are her hair and nails. This teenager goes to a Baltimore County public school that specializes in special needs education. She would be a junior in high school right now if all were normal...but it isn't. Mrs. Greenberg said she believes that her daughter does change from day to day - "changes in her heart." She doesn't know what the changes are, and they are not visible, but she believes some changes do happen. Some testing is ongoing on Brooke's DNA and they hope to find some genetic code that may provide at least some answers to Brooke's condition. Howard Greenberg, Brooke's father, believes his daughter is here to serve a purpose.
"Brooke is the nucleus of our family. What if Brooke holds the secret to aging? We'd like to find out. We'd like to help people. Everybody's here for a reason. Maybe this is why Brooke is here.
Inquiring minds have given a lot of thought to Brooke. Is she a hoax? Can she be real? Fortunately, Snopes.com and TheSmokingGun.com have not done stories on this little girl. Brooke Greenberg is believed to be the only child in the world like her. Doctors will not guess how long she will live because they haven't a clue. Will she outlive her parents, her siblings? You can read more about Brooke and her family in this 4-page article, as well as watch a documentary on TLC airing on August 9th.  

Update 8-9-09:
In a more recent update, Dr. Walker explained that Brooke "has a mutation in the developmental gene that prevents her from aging, and she is in the developmental phase. There is no hope for her, but what she brings to science is information on how we may be able to delay aging." Her father said the prices is "she's adorable. She stopped aging at the right age." Essentially, Brooke's aging and development genes have been turned off.
“From the ages of 1 to 5, she spent 65 percent of her life in the hospital,” her mom, Melanie, said. “It takes her 10 hours a day just to eat. She’s medically fragile.” The state of Maryland has provided two nurses to help care for Brooke 16 hours a day, because she was getting sick often and needed a feeding tube inserted in her stomach.

Brooke Greenberg Video

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