A toddler in Malaysia who was born with excessive facial and upper body hair and without nostrils was called “a child from heaven” by the Malaysian King and Queen last week.
Two-year-old Missclyen Roland was waiting with her parents on Sept 10 to greet Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah and his wife, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, who were touring the eastern Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.
The family was among hundreds of people waiting for the royal couple in a village in Jalan Bintulu-Miri in Sarawak.
Missclyen’s parents, Mr Roland Jimbai, 49, and Ms Theresa Guntin, 28, said they had always wanted to meet the royal couple, whom they had seen only on television and on social media.
Mr Roland said the five-hour wait was worth it – the King and Queen took pictures with Missclyen, and the Queen carried and hugged the child.
“The King said, ‘Take good care of this child. She is a child from heaven... a blessing from God’,” said Mr Roland, who works as a welder. He added that he was still at a loss for words over the royal encounter.
The father of four said Missclyen, his youngest child, was diagnosed with congenital generalised hypertrichosis, a rare disease characterised by excessive hair growth all over the body.
Hypertrichosis is sometimes referred to as werewolf syndrome.
She was also born without nostrils.
Despite Missclyen’s condition, Mr Roland said the toddler is healthy and goes for regular medical check-ups at Bintulu Hospital.
Mr Roland said the child’s appearance resulted in the family being stigmatised.
Some people even called her “ghost child”, causing them unnecessary hurt and stress. So he and his wife would avoid taking her out in public, except for hospital follow-ups.
“We were so afraid of what people were going to say,” he told local daily New Sarawak Tribune.
The parents have since overcome their fears and accepted that people are either curious or do not understand Missclyen’s condition.