[Reiko is forced to get around using a wheelchair and walker, with his thighbones being particularly fragile, having fractured around 100 times. (Photo: Caters News Agency)]
London: Dubbed a 'china doll' boy, 06-yr-old Reiko Quinlan from Toronto suffers from Osteogeneses Imperfecta Type Three which causes him to endure agonising broken bones when he simply hugs his siblings or even just smiles at his mother.
Also known as brittle bone disease, the condition has left Reiko, who had more than 500 fractures in his short life including five fractures during birth and 80 in the first year of his life, the size of a toddler and unable to walk unassisted, MailOnline reported Wednesday.
The youngster longs to live a 'normal' life and often pretends not to notice when he has suffered a fracture, with his family, who stopped counting his injuries after they reached 300, only discovering breaks at routine X-rays.
Reiko's mother Jessica Quinlan, 31, a receptionist, fears for her son's future, sayin, "It doesn't take much for kids with this condition to pass away. I'm constantly worrying about that."
Yet, despite her concerns, Quinlan is optimistic Reiko will lead a good life. "He picks up on things very easily and everybody loves him. I know he will be successful with anything he tries."
Speaking of Reiko's condition, Quinlan said, "t doesn't take much. One day, he put his arm around his brother's back and fractured it. Another time, he turned his head to smile at me and I could hear the bone in his arm cracking. A lot of times there's no way to prevent it. He doesn't have to do anything for an injury to happen. Once he hit 300, we stopped counting, but it's definitely more than 500 at this point."
Reiko is forced to get around using a wheelchair and walker, with his thighbones being particularly fragile, having fractured around 100 times. Despite enduring countless fractures from seemingly doing nothing, Reiko occasionally crashes into hard objects without any injury.
"He'll fracture a bone while sitting still on the couch, but then he'll bang his legs into a wall and nothing will happen. We can't even guess what each day will bring. We just have to be prepared for the worst", Quinlan said.
Osteogeneses Imperfecta Type Three affects around one in 20,000 people to some extent.
"Half of the cases are mild, with patients just breaking bones from time to time. The other half are moderate to severe, in which they can break several in one day. They usually have fractures during birth and continue to have them as they are growing. It is caused by an anomality in the collagen of the bone", Dr Francis Glorieux, chairman of the Medical Advisory Council at the Osteogeneses Imperfecta Foundation, said.
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