• Trinidad & Tobago
  • Trinidad & Tobago

    Election 2020

August 10,2020
  • DAYS
  • HRS
  • MINS
  • SECS
Thursday 6 August, 2020

Watch: Cambodian girl, 10, looks like she's 60 due to rare condition

This tragic schoolgirl is only ten - but she looks like a 60-year-old grandmother.

Bo Rakching was born with wrinkled and sagging skin in 2009 giving her the appearance of an ageing woman.

But the youngster still has the physique of a child and stands at the same height as her brother, Chea, 11, and other youngsters her age. Bo appears to be suffering from lipodystrophy or cutis laxa, rare degenerative conditions that can give the appearance of premature ageing.

Sadly, the youngster has never received treatment and is taunted by the other children in her remote village on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Relatives and local monks have lead Bo to believe that her appearance is because of bad karma she is carrying from a past life - one of the fundamental teachings of Buddhism.

Bo said that when she rides her bike the other kids yell ''old folk'' at her. While even her siblings call her ''grandmom'' instead of sister. The youngster now dreams of having plastic surgery to ''make her pretty''.


Footage shows Bo speaking to a local monk on August 1 who agrees with her that she has ''still not cleared the bad path from her life''.

Asked if she feels shy and embarrassed, she says ''yes'' but admits she has never asked her mother for treatment. She said: ''I want the pretty face. I want to have surgery. The other children call me 'old folk'.

''Among all my brothers and sisters, I am the only one with an old face. They all have young faces. They do not call me sister, they call me grandmom.''

Bo said that she has asked them to stop calling her names but they continue to taunt her.

The monk, who confirmed she is ten years old and studies at the local school in Grade 1, encourages her to stand up to the bullies.

But the devout Buddhist, named Voeun, told her that her appearance is down to a ''bad path'' from a previous life which is still haunting her to this day.

In the video, Bo appears to agree and says that she ''was shot in a previous life'' and has ''not cleared the bad path yet''.

She said: ''When I was young I was shot. After they shot me, I died.

''One old grandmother told my mom that she went to take the flower but she was very late and that the flower had already bloomed. Then when I was born, I had the old face like this.

''My mom had a dream and saw that she took a flower which had already bloomed, then she give birth to me with the old face.''

Monk Voeun adds: ''I feel pity for her. When we are born, we always studied the bad path. People were born in this place or that place based on the good or bad path that has taken before.

''Remain on the bad path, then when you clear all the bad path away, you will become pretty.''

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: