A BOY who was left folded in half by a terrible muscle condition has revealed how doctors refused to operate because his deformity was so severe.
Ulrich, who lives in Africa, was forced to walk with sticks to support his body weight after being born with debilitating quadriceps contracture which dislocated his knees.
Ulrich faced constant stares in the street and feared his condition would only get worse when surgeons 'refused to touch him'.
The cost of the operation was also too much for Ulrich's family and his mother, Georgette, says it was heartbreaking to watch her son suffer.
She told charity Mercy Ships: "Surgeons wouldn’t touch him, It was hard to see him hurting. When he hurts, I hurt."
Quadriceps contracture means Ulrich's muscles grow at a slower rate compared to his bones and caused his legs to bend forward dramatically.
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He resorted to using sticks to prop himself up and make small journeys before he started to develop pain in his hands and joints due to his bizarre stance.
He said: "I was worried that if I was feeling such pain now, it was only going to get worse as I got older.
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"I was scared to grow up like that.
"I didn’t want this to be all my life was ever going to be."
But to the family's delight, the Africa Mercy charity stepped in to fund his surgery and the youngster was able to stand tall for the first time.
Ulrich underwent several complex operations due to the extremity of his condition but was able to hug his mum for the first time after the op.
He said he also able to touch the ceiling for the first time.
He said: "Before when I would walk in the street, people would stare at me.
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"They thought I was just a handicapped person, and they treated me differently. Now they will look again."
An independent Ulrich hopes to fulfill his dream of going to school and no longer lives in fear.
In 2020, the Sun reported that 46-year-old Li Hua, from China, was able to stand straight for the first time in 25 years after life-changing surgery.
Li Hua developed ankylosing spondylitis, a rare type of arthritis when he was aged 19 leaving his spine completely folded in half.
He had been unable to stand up straight, eat or walk properly for most of hislife because his poor family in rural China could not afford the medical fees.
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