A few years ago ZME Science reported the peculiar case of Brooke Greenberg, a woman who was born prematurely at just four pounds but never physically developed into an adult. Her condition baffled her doctors as well as the scientific community who even to this day hasn’t managed to pinpoint what exactly was wrong with her. Twenty years after her birth, time in which she has remained largely unchanged physically and mentally, Brooke died a few weeks ago of a lung illness. She will always be remembered as the girl that never aged. To her family, however, Brooke was a very special child and will continue to remain so, undoubtedly.
“We are going to remember her every day. She was a very, very, very special child,” Her father, Howard Greenberg said.
In lack of a similar case in medical history, Brooke was diagnosed with Syndrome X – a new disease which the girl was unfortunate enough to be the first bearing case. For the rest of her life, Brooke looked and acted like a 2 year-old toddler. This has puzzled scientists, and some studying her condition have even gone as far as saying that she might hold the secret of the fabled fountain of youth. It’s possible, maybe, that a genetic mutation is responsible for her condition – if identified and manipulated in a controlled environment it may be possible that an ever-youth therapy could be developed.
This was no gift, however, but a curse – like a bad joke. Her family went through tremendous turmoil and suffering throughout the years as doctors told Brooke’s parents that the girl would die – this happened multiple times ever since she was born. She underwent a series of medical emergencies in her early years, including stomach ulcers, an apparent stroke, and an unexplained lethargy that caused her to enter a two weeks coma.
“Brooke was a little on the small side, but nothing abnormal,” Brooke’s father, Howard Greenberg, told the station. “I mean you couldn’t really tell until you witnessed the birth and you saw Brooke.”
However, Brooke reportedly developed a strong sense of individual identity later in life, enjoyed hugs, and loved her parents and sisters. She also grew rebellious in her teens and liked the Baltimore Ravens, her family said.