Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man, Had Proteus Syndrome, NOT Neurofibromatosis

Joseph Merrick’s story has long haunted people, who have read about his tragic and memorable life. What I have always found intriguing about Merrick, that unlike the Hunchback of Notre Dame, he was a very real person, who had to deal with being a medical anomaly.

He has been a source of fascination to such superstars as Michael Jackson, who identified with his position as an outcast in society. What exactly afflicted Merrick has been a source of controversy and debate. While, a condition called Neurofibromatosis has been called The Elephant Man disease, in reality what scientists now believe is that he had Proteus Syndrome.

Proteus Syndrome is a very rare disease in which tumors and bones grown abnormally. There is very little treatment options for Proteus Syndrome today, so imagine how little options Merrick had back in his lifetime. There is a woman named Mandy Sellars who is said to be only one of a 120 people who currently have Proteus Syndrome today.

Hopefully, Joseph Merrick now rests in peace, free from the confines of his physical body.

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