Imagine you got sick every time you attempted to eat something delicious.
Manju Dharra, a 25-year-old woman from India, is plagued with a condition that makes it impossible for her to ingest any form of solid food without getting violently ill.
In fact, she hasn't eaten anything solid for the past 25 years. Shockingly, she has survived all these years on just water, milk, and tea.
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Dharra suffers from a rare condition called achalasia. Her cardiac sphincter muscle, which closes the opening from the gullet to the stomach to prevent acid reflux, does not open at all. This prevents any food from passing through the stomach, so if Dharra attempts to eat anything, it results in violent vomiting and pain.
“If I eat something then I throw up and I feel very, very bad. Now I fear when I look at solid food,” says Dharra.
Think back on all the delicious indulgences you devour on a regular basis. Now, imagine never having any of those treats, ever again.
No delectable dinners. No savoury sweets. Just milk, tea, and water … forever.
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Living just on water, milk and tea, it is quite shocking that Dharra is above average height for an Indian woman. She is slim, but she doesn’t seem weak. Even though she still gets terrible stomach aches, she easily completes household chores.
Dharra’s mother says that she didn’t realize something was wrong with Dharra’s digestion as a baby until she introduced her to solids like bread and rice. Doctors diagnosed her with achalasia but none of the treatment options have been successful thus far.
The only solution is surgery, which Dharra’s family cannot afford. For now, the best they could do for Dharra was buy her a cow that provides her with four to five litres of milk per day.
If milk, water and tea are the only things this woman can consume, then a cow is quite possibly the best gift she could have ever received.
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