Rokayah Permana is worried her 10-year-old son Arya will die. The boy from Indonesia has been named the world’s fattest child but this is not a laughing matter. For some unknown reason, Arya cannot stop eating. He consumes over five full meals a day and still feels hungry. The family lives in West Java Province in Indonesia and despite many doctor visits to find answers for his strange condition, local doctors tell the family they cannot find anything wrong with Arya. 35-year-old Rokayah and her 45-year-old husband Ade Somantri live within humble means, so seeing a specialist or sending Arya for further tests is out of the question for them. Although, the boy was born a healthy seven pounds during the home birth, by the time he was a toddler the weight was spiralling out of control.Rokayah and Ade, a farmer, began to notice that at two years old, Arya was developing quite the appetite and growing at a rapid rate.
“He was fatter than my first son and other children in the village but we did not think it was a matter of concern. We were happy to see him fuller and considered him to be a happy, healthy child,” explains Ade.
When doctors could not find anything wrong they adviced the family to take Arya to better doctors. Sadly, the family does not have the financial resources to help their son.
Arya has dropped out of school as he is unable to walk. At home during the day now, the boy usually naps.
Arya’s standard five meals a day include; rice, beef, fish, vegetable soup and a soy patty called tempeh. This is enough food to feed two adults. Nonetheless, Arya complaints he is still hungry after consuming so much food.
“I have spent money beyond my capacity on his treatment but I am a poor farmer and making ends meet is a big task for me,” explains Ade. The couple has started a new diet for their son consisting only of brown rice.
Arya weighs over 423 pounds making him the fattest boy in the world. His parents hope with the new diet they can help him shed the pounds.
“He is always tired and complains of shortness of breath. He only eats and sleeps,” says Rokayah.
“My son can only take small steps before he loses balance. I wish to see my son studying and playing with other kids in the neighbourhood,” says Rokayah.
The couple have to borrow money from others to be able to buy enough food for Arya.
“There is no other pain than seeing your own child suffering. My son does not go to school because he cannot walk on his own and needs my round-the-clock assistance,” says Rokayah about Arya’s condition.
The only thing his parents feel they can do is limit the amount of food he can eat.
It may explain that Arya’s condition is just not normal.
It is not clear how tall Arya is but to put his weight in perspective; an average 10-year-old boy in the USA is about 4 foot 10 inches and weighs approximately 78.9 pounds.
Ade who is a farmer makes approximately US $50 per month to take care of his family. This does not leave him much to seek further professional help.
Sadly, Arya spends his days at home. He lives a solitary life for the most part. When kids are at school, he is at home napping. And when the kids are outside running around, playing, Arya stays inside as he can barely walk.
The doctors have even gone so far and said the 10-year-old is perfectly healthy. Nowhere in the world is 423 pounds a healthy weight.
The parents have the worst fears for their son’s well-being. They see how much Arya struggles with his breathing already.
The couple still hopes and pray they will find a solution and treatment for their son. They refuse to give up on him.
“No mother wants to stop feeding her children but I am unfortunate and helpless. I have started putting him on brown rice diet. I am not sure if it help but this is the only thing I can do to stop him from growing bigger,” explains Rokayah.