A 5-year-old girl weighs 98 pounds due to a rare condition that constantly leaves her hungry for more food.
Mom Holly Williams, 25, from the United Kingdom, has resorted to putting a baby gate in the kitchen so that daughter Harlow can’t overeat.
Harlow has Prader-Willi syndrome and is missing chromosome 15, which is responsible for controlling hunger. Therefore, Harlow constantly has an appetite and always wants to eat.
“Having a baby gate on the kitchen door helps with making sure that Harlow isn’t getting into cupboards in the kitchen,” Williams told Caters.
She added, “In [the] future I will have to take further measures, and as Harlow gets older I will more than likely have to get locks for the kitchen.”
At just 6 months old, Harlow was diagnosed with the syndrome, which her mom had never heard of before.
Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare genetic disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic, and can manifest in physical, mental and behavioral problems in those who have it. A lot of the complications of the disease are due to obesity.
Having Prader-Willi has delayed Harlow’s ability to reach certain milestones. She couldn’t hold her head up until she was 8 months old and didn’t walk until she was 2 ½ years old.
“We knew something was wrong when Harlow was born,” Williams said. “She was really floppy, had no strength, didn’t cry and wouldn’t feed properly on a bottle.”
Now that Williams finally has some answers about her daughter’s condition, she is taking proper measures to make sure she stays healthy. She says that she has to be stern with the 5-year-old about how much she eats, but with some exceptions.
“Harlow is overweight at the moment, so I have to be stern with her and tell her she can’t have any more to eat after she has had a meal,” Williams said. “I make sure she has a healthy and balanced diet, but she is still allowed treats, as she is just a child after all, so I don’t want to completely deprive her.”
Although Harlow is in a “mainstream” school, she still struggles with things like mobility, sleep apnea and tantrums. But despite all of the hardships, she and her daughter still have an extremely close bond and are together all the time. Williams said she found strength in media personality Katie Price’s story, as her eldest son has the same disorder.
“It can be hard to deal with the conditions sometimes, but because Harlow is my first child, I don’t know any different,” Williams said.
The disorder has prompted fear in many parents. In 2016, Manoel Abreu said he was concerned his 178-pound 5-year-old was going to die, while a mom from New Haven, Connecticut, said that her twins could potentially “eat themselves to death” one day.