Rajaraman suffers from a rare disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta While there are foundations for OI in developed countries, there is no such foundation in India
CHENNAI: The family members of 10-year-old R. Rajaraman, have lost count of the number of fractures he has suffered since his birth and the number of times they have taken him to the hospital to fix his fractures.
Take this case: Rajaraman is sitting in his chair. While responding to a call he turns and falls down from the chair suffering multiple fractures and his entire body is put on a cast.
Rajaraman suffers from a rare bone disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). According to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation Inc. (OI Foundation), a voluntary health organisation based in Baltimore, U.S., OI is caused by a genetic defect that affects the body's production of type I collagen. Collagen is the major protein of the body's connective tissue and can be likened to the framework around which a building is constructed. A person with OI either has less collagen than normal or a poorer-than-normal quality of collagen, leading to weak bones that fracture easily.
A person may have just a few or as many as several hundred fractures in a lifetime based on the severity of the disorder. Rajaraman's condition can be described as being very severe.
While in developed countries there are foundations for OI, there is no such foundation in India.
Born with brittle bone deficiency, Rajaraman is short because of the deformity in his bone formation. Moreover, he undergoes excruciating pain when he gets any fracture. He needs to be under constant vigil, and is dependent on someone for performing his daily activities.
Despite the disability, the boy is cheerful.
Studying in Sacred Heart Nursery and Primary School in Agaram, Rajaraman is an outstanding student, who participates in oratorical competitions.
In one such contest recently, Rajaraman gave to the audience a first hand account of his disability and how he overcame it with confidence.
Even then his parents had difficulty finding a school to put him in till they met Mary Benny, correspondent of Sacred Heart Nursery and Primary School.
He was admitted, and even has a separate seating arrangement so he does not get hurt. The boy's grandfather, A. Hariharan, can be reached at 26700358.