Measuring 87cm in height and weighing 20kg, Sari Rezita Ariyanti looks like your average three-year-old, except she isn’t a toddler – she’s actually 24-years-old.
Due to a rare condition, Sari – who lives in Didie Jaya District in Indonesia – is unable to walk or talk.
Born on 16 October 1993, Sari has to rely on her relatives to push her around in a wheelchair.
Sari also struggles to communicate verbally other than a few simple words and sounds.
Her mother didn’t even realise her daughter suffered from any kind of medical condition until she was two-years-old, and due to it being diagnosed late, it has become difficult to treat.
Owing to the remoteness of her village and a lack of funds, her family could not get Sari to the doctor until she was 13 years old.
The second of five children, Sari lives with her mum, Suryani H Suud and sister Lela in Didie Jaya District, Indonesia.
In a short documentary video with Barcroft TV, her mother said:
When she was a child, she was a beautiful girl; she didn’t look disabled. But at two-years-old she still wasn’t able to do anything. She couldn’t talk or walk.
I feel very sad. I see my first and third children and they are healthy but Sari is different. I was deeply shocked but thanks to God, Sari has siblings who love and take care of her.
People would stare at us and others would ask “why can’t she walk and why is she so short?”.
When Sari was a baby, I used to take her to the market, and someone asked why does my first child and Sari look so different. I was sad, so I couldn’t answer it.
Now, her mother says she can talk a little, but that it’s like baby speak, and not fluent, and no one but her mother can understand what she’s saying.
In spite of her childlike appearance, Sari menstruates every month and asks her mother for lipstick and toiletries.
When she saw us use talcum powder, lipstick and hand and body lotion, she asked for them.
When she talks, it’s like baby speak, it’s not fluent.
Nobody understands what she says, but I understand.
The medical team at Ibnu Sina Hospital in Sigli City diagnosed Sari with a hormonal growth disorder and think the most likely diagnosis is Turner Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects one in 2,000 to 2,500 babies – and only occurs in girls.
Effects include stunted growth and underdeveloped reproductive organs.
While there is no cure, if treated early on the condition can be suitably managed, allowing sufferers to lead a relatively normal life.
Tragically, because doctors didn’t see Sari until she was already a teenager, it is that much harder to treat her now.
Her mother remains hopeful she will walk one day.