Rahma Haruna, known all over the world as the girl who lived in a plastic bowl, has died. The 19-year-old whose limbs mysteriously stopped growing at only six months of age, spent most of her life in a plastic bowl which she was placed in to help her sit upright and to transport her around her village.
Born in the village of Lahadin Makole, Rahma was perfectly healthy up until she reached 6 months of age, at which point her limbs stopped growing.
“I’ve spent 15 years searching for the cure,” her father explained. “I sold almost everything in my possession. I farm, go to the market and lots more looking for money to pay for her bills.”
Last year freelance photographer Sani Maikatanga visited Nigeria and shared Rahma’s story on social media. The images went viral and received an overwhelming amount of support. Maikatanga broke the news of Rahma’s death on her Instagram page: “I met Rahama in January 10, 2016. I didn’t meet with Rahama for any reason other than she was an extraordinary human that needed someone to listen and to act on issues at hand. She is one of the most pleasant people I have met this year. We continue to pray for strength within her family.”
The news comes with sadness from all over the world. When her story became known all over the world, Rahma was given a wheelchair to assist with her daily needs. Despite the fact that she had no limbs, she even had dreams to run a store.
“From six months when she learnt how to sit that was when it began. She didn’t learn how to crawl. She started with a fever and that was it,” her mother explained. Her brother Fahad also spent most of his life helping his sister by bathing her and taking her out every day.
Rahma died on Christmas day at only 19 years old.