"We are worried he will just keep on growing": 6ft 10in tall Josh has condition so rare it…

31 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on "We are worried he will just keep on growing": 6ft 10in tall Josh has condition so rare it…
Nissan Qashqai


039;We#039;re worried he will just keep on growing#039;: 6ft 10in Josh, 18, has condition so rare it doesn#039;t even have a name

Josh Gott, 18, and his mum Sharon with sensory lighting equipment which has been donated to him by the Newlife Foundation charity

Teesside teenager Josh Gott just can’t stop growing.

The 18-year-old is already 6ft 10in tall and towers over his mum Sharon, who is just 5ft tall, and dad Andrew who is 5ft 4in.

He is believed to be the only person in the world to have a disorder which means he keeps on growing.

At the age of 11 he was already 5ft 8in, reaching more than six feet tall at 15.

He has size 15 feet, weighs 19 st 6 lbs and dramatic growth spurts can mean him adding two inches in days.

Experts have finally identified the chromosome disorder – so rare it does not even have a name – behind Josh’s condition.

But there is no known cure.

Sharon, 44, and Josh’s grandma Sylvia, 69, fear he may keep on growing, even past the age of 21, and may become Britain’s tallest living man.

Gentle giant Josh is just nine inches off the record height of actor Neil Fingleton, who at 7ft 7in is the tallest living Briton.

By the age of 11, Sharon, of Thornaby. knew there was something wrong.

But, due to her son’s other medical conditions, she was unable to get him diagnosed.

She said: “I fought and fought to get his condition recognised.

“Doctors thought I was being an overprotective mother.”

Sharon, who lives next door to Sylvia for support, said: “We are worried he will just keep on growing.”

Doctors finally diagnosed Josh’s chromosome disorder as a deletion of three genes.

“It is different from gigantism, responsible for many other tall men, where sufferers over produce their growth hormone.

Experts at Newcastle Centre for Life have worked to identify how it works.

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A worldwide search has failed to identify a single other sufferer.

Consultant clinical geneticist Dr Miranda Splitt wrote of Josh’s condition: “There are a few other patients who are known to have a deletion of the three genes but all of them have a much larger deletion involving many more genes.”

Sharon, a passenger assistant on school transport, added: “Josh is not troubled by his condition.

“He was called names at school but they could not bully him because of his size.

“We joke with him about his height and big feet, we have to get boots specially made for him, and trousers.

“Our food bill is around £90 a week, and we have gone from a Citroen C3, to a Renault Picasso, to a Nissan Qashqai to a Ford Galaxy due to his size.”

Josh, who has a sister Nicola, 24, also has epilepsy; scoliosis, or curvature of the spine; Perthes, the hip growth disorder; autism; attention deficit hyperactivity and brain damage, the cause of which has never been established.

The charity Newlife Foundation has helped to buy him a specially built bed and other equipment.

Sharon said: “They have been brilliant, and have made such a difference to his life.”

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