A woman from Vietnam has puzzled doctors by saying she aged 50 years in a matter of days. In 2008, 26-year-old Nguyen Thi Phuong had a severe allergic reaction to seafood and the treatment with traditional medicine left her looking 50 years older in a few days.
Since then, she’s been wearing a mask in public, trying to hide her wrinkled face, despite her actual young age, The Telegraph informs.
Phuong and her husband, Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, say the only reason they didn’t go public with their out of the ordinary story or seek treatment so far is the fact that they’re poor.
Now, they have decided to talk to the media in the hope that someone will be generous enough to lend them a helping hand and pay for the treatment to help Phuong get her pretty face back, assuming doctors decide on a diagnosis.
“Some have argued that the condition is lipodystrophy – a rare syndrome that causes a layer of fatty tissue beneath the surface of the skin to disintegrate while the skin itself continues to grow at a startling pace,” The Telegraph writes.
“The syndrome with no cure leaves its victims with loose folds of skin all over their bodies, wrinkled faces and the gaunt features of people decades their senior,” adds the British publication.
However, an official diagnosis hasn’t been made yet.
The couple insist that their story is real, adding that they’re in too much pain about it to even consider coming up with such an elaborate, shameless lie.
Phuong, for one, has at least some consolation in knowing that her husband is still by her side like he was a few years back, when she still looked her age and was actually quite a looker.
“He still loves me like before despite the fact that I look old and ugly. With him, I feel more confident to live and work,” she says.
She still has high hopes that, one day, she will get her real face back, especially since she doesn’t feel old on the inside.
“The skin on my face, chest and belly have folds like an old woman who has given birth several times although I have never had a child,” she says.
“But the rapid-aging syndrome hasn’t affected my menstrual cycle, hair, teeth, eyes and mind,” Phuong explains.