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Top 10 Shocking Medical Stories

10. Polish Railroad Worker Wakes Up From 19-Year Coma

During the 1980's, Poland was still run by a Communist regime. It was a terrible period

of despair, great poverty and confusion.

Polish railway worker Jan Grzebski, suffered a severe head injury while attaching two train

carriages. He was rushed to the hospital, but the doctors had even more devastating

news for the family: besides the injuries caused by the work-related accident, Jan Grzebski

was suffering from brain cancer. He fell into a deep coma of 19 years. Doctors didn't expect

him to live longer than three years. His family had faith that Jan would recover and his wife

Gertruda provided the loving care Jan needed to survive. The amazing part of this story

is that Mr. Grzebski awoke on April, 12, 2007 after 19 years of coma. He awoke to a world

of democracy and capitalism. Mr. Grzebski was surprised to find out that 18 years had

passed since the fall of Communism and that 11 grandchildren couldn't wait to hug him.

"What amazes me today is all these people who walk around with their mobile phones and

never stop moaning," he said. "I've got nothing to complain about." This memorable statement

is the perfect reminder to all of us who sometimes are complaining too much. Sadly, we often

don't appreciate the simple things in life until they're taken away from us.

9. Children with the Werewolf Syndrome

Indian boy Prithviraj Patil and Thai girl Supatra Sasuphan have dreams and behave just

like other children around the world: they love to be included in activities and games;

they enjoy swimming or painting, and most of all, eating ice-cream. What makes them

different is the fact that both children were born with congenital hypertrichosis, known

also as the Werewolf Syndrome.

This terrible disease is very rare and unusual. There have been fewer than 50 cases documented

since 1638. The children are suffering from uncontrollable hair growth. Thick animal-like

fur covers their head and parts of the body. Unfortunately, science and medicine haven't

found an answer for their disease.

It's so sad to read headlines such as "Half human, half wolf" or "Real Wolf Kids". The

cruelty doesn't come from the syndrome, but from society...

8. Amazing Human Electrical Conductor

Some people attracted worldwide attention by claiming they can harness the power of

electricity. Jose Rafael Marquez Ayala is one of them. Puerto Rican Jose Ayala seems

to be a human superconductor, because he can carry huge amounts of electrical current through

his body. Jose withstood various strong electric shocks with absolutely no side effects. Moreover,

he burns paper with his fingers. Is his power real, or a hoax? If it is real, it is certainly


7. Miraculous Recovery After a 47-Story Fall

According to the NY Daily News, the Moreno brothers, Alcides and Edgar, were working

on a window-washing platform attached to a skyscraper on E. 66th St., New York, when

the platform collapsed on December 7, 2007. The 16-foot-long aluminum swing to the roof

failed. Alcides Moreno cheated death after falling from the 47th story of the building,

but Edgar didn't survive.

The doctors performed at least 16 surgeries, because Moreno broke his ribs, both legs and

right arm, badly injuring the spine. The medical staff described the victim's recovery as "miraculous"

and "unprecedented." Doctors predicted that Moreno's recovery would be complete in one,

two years.

6. Teen Survives 118 Days Without A Heart

D'zhana Simmons of South Carolina is literally a walking, talking, medical miracle. The brave

teenager lived for about four months without a heart, as she awaited a new, functional

heart to replace the damaged one. Simmons suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM),

meaning her weak and enlarged heart wasn't pumping blood efficiently. The surgeons from

the Miami Holtz Children's Hospital performed an initial transplant on July 2, 2008, but

the heart malfunctioned and had to be quickly removed. Meanwhile, D'zhana was kept alive

by a custom-built artificial blood-pumping device. "She essentially lived for 118 days

without a heart, with her circulation supported only by two blood pumps," said Dr. Ricci,

Director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery.

5. A Life Without Pain

Gabby Gingras is an energetic 9-year-old girl who is determined to be just like every other

child around her. What makes her different from most of us, is a rare and extremely unusual

disease known as CIPA -- congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. There are only 100

documented cases of CIPA around the globe.

Gabby was born without the ability to feel pain, cold and heat. It might seem like an

amazing gift, but actually it's a devastating condition. Pain sensitivity is crucial, because

pain works similar to a warning and defense mechanism. Gabby's parents noticed something

wasn't right when their daughter was five months old. She was biting her fingers until

they bled. Later on, the girl lost an eye and severely injured the other one due to

excessive rubbing and scratching. Various measures have been taken to prevent these

types of accidents. The desperate parents are doing their best under the difficult and

challenging circumstances. Brave Gabby was the subject of a documentary. "A Life Without

Pain" by Melody Gilbert. It tells the powerful story of Gabby Gingras.

4. Allergic to H20

Whether it's taking a hot bath, brushing your teeth, cleaning the house, or simply quenching

your thirst, water is an essential part of our daily routine. We just cannot live without

water! That is why it is a wonder to us that people can be allergic to water. Believe it

or not, some people suffer from extremely rare physical forms of urticaria known as

Aquagenic Urticaria and Aquagenic Pruritus -- both of which are 'allergic' reactions

to water. They are so unusual, that only about 30 or 40 cases are documented worldwide.

Ashleigh Morris (21, Australia) and Michaela Dutton (23, England) developed a one in 230

million skin disorder -- Aquagenic Urticaria. If their skin comes in to contact with water,

itchy red welts, lumps and blisters appear all over the body. Showering is a really painful

experience for both of them. Michaela cannot drink water, coffee or tea, she cannot even

eat fruits because they trigger the burning rash on the skin and make her throat swell

up, but her body seems to tolerate Diet Coke. Ashleigh tries to avoid water as much as possible

-- she stopped doing sports and any other physical effort that makes her sweat. Aquagenic

Urticaria is so extremely rare, that even doctors don't fully understand the complex

mechanism behind the bizarre skin disorder.

3. The Family That Couldn't Sleep

FFI is the acronym of a fatal genetic sleep disorder called Fatal Familial Insomnia. Jay

Schadler and Laura Viddy best describe the rare disease: "Those affected by FFI are forever

trying and failing to fall asleep. The disease steals one's sleep, mind and ultimately one's

life, and, before dying, one hovers for months in a twilight world."

29-year-old Cheryl Dinges (left) is one of the members of a family that couldn't sleep.

Her family carries the gene for Fatal Familial Insomnia, such a rare condition that it is

believed to affect only 40 families worldwide. Fatal Familial Insomnia killed their mother,

grandfather and their uncle. Cheryl Dinges declined to be tested, even if her sister

(right) didn't inherit the mutation. FFI begins with mild twitching, panic attacks and insomnia.

In time, patients start to hallucinate and insomnia becomes so severe that they totally

lack the ability to sleep. Ultimately, patients develop dementia and, eventually, die. The

mutated protein is called PrPSc. If only one of the parents has the mutated gene, there

are 50% chances of inheriting and developing FFI.

2. Butterfly Children

The sad story of Sarah and Joshua Thurmond started when doctors diagnosed them with Epidermolysis

bullosa (EB), another rare genetic disorder that cause the skin to be extremely fragile.

Erosions and blisters occur because the skin layers lack a fibrous protein that is responsible

for anchoring filaments to underlying tissues.

Joshua suffers from one of the most severe types of EB, Epidermolysis bullosa dystrophica.

Unfortunately, his sister too, but she passed away on Oct. 8, 2009. The disease took her

at the age of 20. According to medical studies, people born with EB have a life expectancy

of about 30, maximum 40 years.

"Cotton Wool Babies", "Crystal Skin Children" or "Butterfly Children" are the terms often

used to describe the fragile condition of younger patients. Their skin is as fragile

as a butterfly's wings. The slightest rub can cause painful wounds. Brave Sarah and

Joshua learned to live with extreme and constant pain. Special bandages help lessen the pain

and prevent infections, but currently, there is no cure for EB. Even if these children

will never know what it's like to run, swim or jump.

1. Giving Birth to a Mummy

Zahra Aboutalib, from Morocco, delivered a child she'd been carrying for almost half

a century. This shocking yet fascinating story began in 1955 when Zahra went into labor.

She was rushed to a hospital, but after watching a woman dying on the operation table during

a Caesarean section, Zahra fled back in her small village outside Casablanca. After the

pains were gone and the baby stopped kicking, Zahra considered him a "sleeping baby". "Sleeping

babies" are, according to Moroccan folk belief, babies that can live inside a woman's womb

to protect her honor.

When Zahra was 75, the excruciating pains occurred again. Doctors performed an ultrasound

test and discovered that her "sleeping child" was actually an ectopic pregnancy. What is

even more amazing is how Zahra survived and how the dead fetus was accepted by the body

just like another organ. Generally, this doesn't happen. If not discovered in time, the growing

fetus will eventually strain and burst the organ that contains it. Under these circumstances,

the mother has few surviving chances. After nearly five hours, the surgeons successfully

removed Zahra's calcified fetus.

Stone babies, lithopedions, are an extremely rare medical phenomenon. According to the

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, only 290 cases of stone babies have been documented.

The Description of Top 10 Shocking Medical Stories