A 21 year old Indian girl born without a face has had to learn to live with her condition despite having no friends, but family alone on her side.
Khadija and little sister
Khadija Khatoon Khadija, 21, from Kolkata, West Bengal, Eastern India, was born without a face and her mouth is a small slit on the left side of her face. When she was born, concerned doctors were baffled by her condition for months.
Although it has never been confirmed, they believe she has a form of neurofibromatosis, a rare deformity that causes tumours to grow along nerves. Medics told Khadija and her family there was nothing they could do after extra skin continued to grow out of control.
"She was born at home but she didn’t open her eyes. She was born with thick heavy eyelids and she looked different to my other children at birth but we didn’t think anything of it until we realised she couldn’t open her eyes properly." her mother Amina Bibi,50, said.
Khadija and mother
As Khadija got older she refused any help because she is afraid of dying in surgery and has chosen to accept and live with her condition.
Khadija said: "I'm made this way and I accept it graciously. I do what I can. If this is how I’m meant to be then I live with it. It’s not a matter of coping, I just live as I am"
She continued: "I don’t have any real friends but I have my family. My family is my only friend and I love them dearly. My parents are my world. I don’t talk to strangers. This is who I am and this is the life I live and I fill my days sitting and thinking, talking to my mother about life and going for walks near my home. I like drinking tea. I am happy in this life"
"If only the government would see my position and help me, I would like that"