New Delhi: Dean Clifford, a 38-year-old man from Queensland, suffers from a severe skin condition known Epidermolysis bullosa, causing him to have the most fragile skin, which blisters frequently and takes much longer to heal than usual.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Clifford has become the oldest living survivor in the world with the genetic condition.
Doctors have warned him that he wouldn't survive past the age of five because he has the most serious form of the skin condition, it was reported.
Clifford has to take special care of his skin because simple tasks such as typing on keyboards or handshakes can cause his skin to weaken and blister. So, every morning he soaks his bandages in the bath, before treating any new skin issues and re-applying the bandages.
The 38-year-old man, who works as a business and marketing officer, has now opened up about his condition for the first time.
This rare skin condition affects around one in every 50,000 people worldwide. Around 40 percent of them do not survive the first year and most do not live beyond five years old.
As per reports, Clifford describes his skin to people as strong as tissue paper or strong as butterfly wings. It’s sort of equivalent to living with third-degree burns every day.
He has defied the odds and transformed himself from a physically weak and sick child to a bodybuilder and motivational speaker.
Clifford has kept up weight training, becoming strong enough to lift weights of up to 150kg and other exercises like push-ups, sit-ups which people without his rare condition would find difficult.
What is Epidermolysis bullosa?
Epidermolysis bullosa is a group of rare genetic conditions that cause the skin to be very fragile and to blister frequently. Blisters and skin erosions may form due to minor injury or friction, like rubbing or scratching.