At the age of 6 he walks with a broken leg without feeling the slightest pain!


  • Doctors were only able to make a diagnosis after several injuries
  • Pain insensitivity is a genetic condition

Some would see it as an opportunity. But it’s a disease. A young British boy, now nine years old, suffered from congenital insensitivity to pain (CDI), a syndrome described as “very rare” by the Neurological Review, and walked for three days after he … lost his leg when he was six had broken!

Little Zach Skimore, who lives in the North of England and whose story has just been told by The Mirror newspaper, had his “misfortunes” started very early. When he received his first vaccine at the age of nine months, he aroused the admiration but above all the astonishment of the nurse because he showed no negative reaction at the time of the injection! But then his life is just a series of “disasters”. At a year old, he bites his tongue with blood until it pierces it. At the age of four he suffered a dislocated hip when he fell from the top of an inflatable structure. Totally insensitive to pain both of which cause his accidents as his “alarms” don’t work and can hide the consequences, the child surprises the caregivers.

Parents suspected of abuse

When he dislocated his hip, doctors had doubts about the reality of his injury because it is usually very painful; his joint was reinserted without anesthesia, nothing to relieve the pain“, his mother told the mirror. But it gets worse: the injury caused the boy to arouse the suspicions of the witnesses towards his parents!We were looked at askance, I never stopped saying he didn’t feel the pain, but no one believed me!‘ says Zach’s mother.

And then there was this broken leg, after which the child was able to continue walking for three days. This time to the point of intriguing doctors enough to pursue their investigations and end up diagnosing this congenital insensitivity to pain. A disease so rare that most doctors have never had to deal with it. It is an attack of fine caliber sensory fibers that is itself linked to hereditary polyneuropathy due to a combination of genes from both parents.

The risk of neurogenic arthropathy

But that didn’t solve the little Brit’s problems. On the one hand, his family continues to live in fear of anything that might hurt or burn him, with no warning of pain. But also because this disease can progress to neurogenic arthropathy, which can lead to infection and deformation of the limbs, which in the most severe cases can lead to amputation.

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