Isolation of a Boy With Giant

Four-year-old Vedant Joshi, living in Gujarat, western India, is often teased and bullied by his friends because of his unusually large feet. Despite his ability to walk and run normally, Vedant’s feet measure 28 cm long and weigh 5.4 kg each, comparable to a bag of potatoes.

Doctors are divided on how to address Vedant’s condition. While some recommend amputating his right foot, others believe the condition is not life-threatening. Vedant’s father is desperate to find a solution that would avoid surgery, fearing it would severely impact his son’s quality of life.

Vedant expressed his frustration over being ostracized by other children. “My friends laugh because I can’t run fast. I can’t play soccer with my friends even though I say I can. I also want to go to school but the teacher said I can’t go.” As a result, Vedant’s life is largely confined to his two-room house, where he often plays with his mother Jayshree Joshi and his younger sister Vrisha.

Over the past four years, Vedant’s parents have consulted hundreds of doctors, all of whom were baffled by his condition. His father, Dilip Kumar Joshi, recounted trying various treatments and specialists, but none could provide a definitive diagnosis or effective treatment. Some speculated about hormonal imbalances or poor blood circulation, but the cause remains unknown, and his feet continue to grow.

Vedant’s feet do not cause him pain, and he can perform normal activities such as walking, running, crossing his legs, and cycling without support. However, doctors still suggest amputation. His father fears that such a surgery would make Vedant permanently disabled and dependent on others.

Dr. Manibhai Patel, a private clinic doctor in Deesa, Gujarat, believes Vedant’s condition might be genetic but does not see it as life-threatening. He noted that Vedant’s case is unique in his 35-year career and compares it to a similar case in the UK involving Mandy Sellars, who was diagnosed with Proteus Syndrome, a congenital disorder with no cure.

Vedant’s mother mentioned that although he was born a healthy baby, his right leg was abnormally large from birth. The psychological impact on Vedant is profound; he once came to his mother, crying and believing his foot deformity was a result of some sin he committed. This misconception deeply saddened his mother, who struggled to console him.

Finding suitable shoes and pants for Vedant has been a challenge. Initially, his parents bought two pairs of shoes in different sizes, but as his feet grew, they could no longer fit any shoes. Vedant’s father now makes his right shoe from an old pair of jeans.

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