The Woman With No Face

The Woman With No Face

A SEVERE untreated facial condition has left a woman in India with large hanging growths which eclipse her entire face – causing local children to be scared of her. Khadija Khatoon, 23, from Kolkata, India, has what doctors believe to be neurofibromatosis – a catch-all term for a number of genetic disorders which cause tumours to grow on nerve tissue. The folds on Khadija’s face now cover her eyes, nose and mouth, giving her the appearance of having no face at all. She said: “The tumour was small when I was born, but it covered my face as I grew up.” Doctors have offered her surgery, but Khadija and her family decided the risks were too great.

Her father Mohammad said: “They told us nothing could be done, that there was a risk of her dying with surgery. So we accepted her fate and I think she’ll have to stay like this. Her life is full of sorrows and hardships, she’s a very unfortunate woman, but she’s incredibly patient with it. There’s no one like her, she’s the only one in the entire universe.” Her brother Lutfar says that people often come and take photographs of her in the street when she’s outside and Khadija says local children are frightened of her tumours. She added: “When people are scared, usually I’ll ask them why. I say Allah has created me like this and I’m human just like them. I think my condition has just become a way of life for me.”

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