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ancient mysteries-the elephant man


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#1    IamFS

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 07:02 PM

you guys ever hear about him? i feel bad for him, he was a very disfigured man who had an extermly interesting life. if you too lazy to read about him, there is a movie by david lynch that was amazing, and was nomintaed for over 8 acedemy awards, but other then that he was  a very interesting man, that hopeful you all heard of.
heres some info;)
http://rarediseases.about.com/cs/proteussy...me/a/031301.htm


#2    BurnSide

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 07:11 PM

QUOTE
The end of the story
More than anything, Joseph Merrick wanted to be like other people. He often wished he could lie down and sleep, but because of the size and weight of his head he had to sleep sitting up. One morning in 1890 he was found lying down in bed on his back, dead. The weight of his head had crushed his windpipe, and he suffocated. He was 28 years old.


His story has always touched me since was was very small.
I wonder if Merrick lived today, would his sotry have been different? Would we have found a way to help him, or would it have ended in tragedy in the end anwyay?
The poor man. In the end, all he wanted to do was lie down and rest.


#3    IamFS

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 07:13 PM

yah me too. everytime i see him or in the movie its qite obvious asll he wants is for peopel to be nice to him. i mean god he cries even when a women is nocie to him, its makes u wonder how mcuh humans take simple thing for grante, that otehrs would do anyhitng for


#4    BurnSide

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 07:29 PM

This reminds me of a story posted not to long ago about a baby born without a face. The poor girl had a rare disease which created her without proper functioning eyes, nose, mouth etc. She had to eat through her stomach.

One woman told this babies mother while out for a stroll 'How dare you take that disgusting thing out in public'.

Human beings can be so inconsiderate and cruel that it's really no wonder some people, like Mr. Merrick, fear other people so much simply because of their differances.

It's like Mary Shellys Frankenstien. The monster was gentle and only wanted loving and a friend, but killed because he was afraid of the constant tormenting of other people calling him a freak.


#5    IamFS

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 07:32 PM

yah..life is cruel....do u have any pics of the girl wihtout a fface?


#6    BurnSide

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 07:39 PM

I'm afraid not. It was an article posted in the Back Page news section, it didn't have any pictures.


#7    Mysteryman

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 03:46 AM

QUOTE(BurnSide @ Dec 13 2004, 02:11 PM)
QUOTE
The end of the story
More than anything, Joseph Merrick wanted to be like other people. He often wished he could lie down and sleep, but because of the size and weight of his head he had to sleep sitting up. One morning in 1890 he was found lying down in bed on his back, dead. The weight of his head had crushed his windpipe, and he suffocated. He was 28 years old.


His story has always touched me since was was very small.
I wonder if Merrick lived today, would his sotry have been different? Would we have found a way to help him, or would it have ended in tragedy in the end anwyay?
The poor man. In the end, all he wanted to do was lie down and rest.

View Post



It is pretty sad how the human race could be so fierce full of anger...

Got some information put together:

Joseph's story
When he was two years old, his mother noticed that some areas of his skin began to change. Some darkened, discolored skin growths were appearing, and they began to look bumpy and rough. Lumps began to grow under the boy's skin--on his neck, his chest, and the back of his head. Mary Jane Merrick began to worry about her son, Joseph. The other boys were starting to make fun of him. As Joseph grew older, he began to look even more strange. The right side of his head began to grow, as did his right arm and hand. By the time he was 12 years old, Joseph's hand was so deformed as to be useless. The growths on his skin were now large and repulsive to look at.
Over the next years, Joseph left home, tried working in a factory but was abused by the workers there, and finally ended up in a freak show. By now his face was distorted by the overgrown half of his head, and the flesh around his nose had grown, too, leading the show promoter to dub Joseph "The Elephant Man."

The wrong diagnosis
Most people know the rest of the story from the 1980 movie, "The Elephant Man," starring John Hurt: how at first a doctor, then others including royalty came to see the intelligent, sensitive man behind the grotesque deformities. People have been moved by the universal message of tolerance of difference found in Joseph Merrick's story. But what most people don't know is that it took 100 years for doctors to correctly identify his medical condition.

At the time Joseph Carey Merrick lived (1862-1890), leading authorities stated he suffered from elephantiasis. This is a disorder of the lymphatic system that causes parts of the body to swell to a huge size. In 1976 a doctor postulated that Merrick suffered from neurofibromatosis, a rare disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nervous system. Photos of Merrick, however, do not show the brown skin spots characteristic of the disorder. Also, his disfigurement came not from tumors but from bone and skin overgrowth. Unfortunately, even today people still (wrongly) call neurofibromatosis the "Elephant Man disease."

It wasn't until 1996 that the answer to what affected Merrick was found. A radiologist, Amita Sharma, of the National Institutes of Health (U.S.), examined x-rays and CT scans of Merrick's skeleton (kept at the Royal London Hospital since his death). Dr. Sharma determined that Merrick had Proteus syndrome, an extremely rare disorder, itself only identified in 1979.

Proteus syndrome
Named for the Greek god who could change his shape, this rare hereditary disorder is characterized by multiple lesions of the lymph glands (lipolymphohemangiomas), overgrowth of one side of the body (hemihypertrophy), an abnormally large head (macrocephaly), partial gigantism of the feet, and darkened spots or moles (nevi) on the skin. Merrick's appearance, and especially his skeleton, carry all the hallmarks of the disorder, although apparently an extremely severe case. His head was so large that the hat he wore measured three feet in circumference.

The end of the story
More than anything, Joseph Merrick wanted to be like other people. He often wished he could lie down and sleep, but because of the size and weight of his head he had to sleep sitting up. One morning in 1890 he was found lying down in bed on his back, dead. The weight of his head had crushed his windpipe, and he suffocated. He was 28 years old.

Found this site all about Josephs critical condition:
http://www.doctorsecrets.com/amazing-medic...ephant-man.html

http://www.doctorsecrets.com/amazing-medic...hant-man-2.html

user posted image

user posted image


Couldn't find any pictures of this faceless baby - not surprised...I wouldn't want to see it...It would make me so sad that a person like this would have to live through that...


What makes up our planets curiosity, is what makes up the unexplained-mysteries of our planet, Earth.

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#8    girty1600

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 03:50 AM

"I am not an animal!"....... crying.gif  crying.gif  crying.gif


Soooooooooooooo, sad. I can't even read about it anymore. It just tares me up inside. crying.gif


#9    Mysteryman

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 03:54 AM

Honestly, I hate to say this - but it comes straight from my heart. If I were to have a child like this, and I would love him, I wouldn't accept it. I would do anything I could to put this kids life out of mysery so he wouldn't have to deal with the suffering, pain, and torture when he would grow up...Even though I would love my son, I would do it for the best of his life...

What makes up our planets curiosity, is what makes up the unexplained-mysteries of our planet, Earth.

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#10    JennRose

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 04:21 AM

QUOTE(IamFS @ Dec 13 2004, 03:32 PM)
yah..life is cruel....do u have any pics of the girl wihtout a fface?

View Post



The story in Back Page news was updated with a video of the girl and her parents.  It's so heartbreaking. crying.gif

As well as the story of John Merrick.  I've watched several programs on A&E, Discovery and such about him.  Poor, poor man...the closest thing to the first friend he ever had was a doctor who just wanted to study him.  How terrible to not be treated like a person.

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#11    Kismit

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 08:58 AM

QUOTE
In 1976 a doctor postulated that Merrick suffered from neurofibromatosis, a rare disorder that causes tumors to grow on the nervous system.

  Recent DNA tests done on material removed from Merrick's skull showed no traces of the gene responsible for Proteas syndrome . This does not mean he didn't have it. The bone tissue was old and fragile and apparently difficult to process , but it is less likely to be the cause of his deformities .
Nf1(Neurofibromatosis type 1 ) , appears to be the most likely cause for the deformities , and the lack of Caffe-o-laite spots on photos of Merrick dosen't mean he did not have them . My son has dark skin as did Joseph Merrick , his spots are almost the same colour as his skin , and they rarely show up in photos .

Allthough  Joseph was an extreme case it is likely that growing up he appeared no different to any other child except maybe a little awkward and
unco-ordinated , with symptoms slowly increasing in noticability as he got older . This disease and others like it is no reason to kill a child .




#12    Mysteryman

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 03:18 PM

Your right, but the notacibality of Joseph Merrick was astonishing. He was a green thumb in a white city... Would you want a son who would get made fun of every single second of his life when shown in public? I wouldn't want him to deal with that.

What makes up our planets curiosity, is what makes up the unexplained-mysteries of our planet, Earth.

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#13    Catrat

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 09:31 AM

I remember about a year ago, there was a thing on 60 Minutes (NZ news show) about what he would have lookes like had he not been affected by this rare disorder.
I tried to post some of these pics but they blew up so big that they changed the format of the screen. I will find some better ones.
Meanwhile here is a link:Merrick

Edited by Catrat, 15 December 2004 - 09:33 AM.

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#14    clouddancer143

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 04:21 PM

I know full well the story of Joseph Merrick.My husband John has the same condition.It's called Neurofibromatosis, or Von Recklinghausens's disease.John's condition isn't as sever as Mr.Merricks, it is however painful and indeed disfiguring.
Basically anywhere he has a nerve ending, a specialized tumor called a fibroma can grow.Most of them stay small, but there have been a few that have grown to golf ball size.Since it's a genetic condition, it's incurable,and the only treatment is to remove the fibromas as they become troublesome.


#15    Lord_Kazius

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 07:02 PM

people, tsk tsk tsk hmm.gif

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