Shoaib Ahmed and Abdul Rasheed seem completely normal kids. The 13 year old and 9 year old siblings play with their friends, go to school and fight just like kids anywhere in the world but when the sun sets, they enter a state of paralysis. They can’t move or talk. This is probably the strangest thing you’ve ever heard in your life because it’s akin to Superman losing his powers when he’s near kryptonite.
It’s the first case of its kind and doctors have no idea what’s causing it. Javed Akram from PIMS (Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad) says, “Our doctors are doing medical tests to determine why these kids remain active in the day but cannot open their eyes, why they cannot talk or eat when [the] sun goes down.”
The brothers have been named the Solar Kids and have been undergoing tests since the beginning of the year at PIMS hospital. Over 300 tests have been run on them and still, no one knows exactly what this is.
The first and most obvious hypothesis was, maybe the brothers get their energy from the sun. But when they were observed in a dark room during the day they functioned normally. Sleep paralysis which happens during REM sleep or temporary paralysis has also been ruled out.
One thing which is most likely, is that the problem they have is genetic. Their father and mother are first cousins, a common practice in Pakistan. Two other brothers in the family have apparently died from the same condition but the boys have a sister who is unaffected by this. The doctors are now taking food, soil and air samples from the family’s home and have sent their blood samples abroad for testing.
It’s not all bad news though, a couple of new medicines have been used on the boys that have alleviated the condition. And they seem completely unaffected during the day and are living with dreams and aspirations like any other child. The older brother wants to be a teacher while the younger aspires to be an Islamic scholar.