Twin sisters from Northern Ireland are turning to stone, suffer from one-in-two million genetic condition

Two twin sisters in Northern Ireland are reported to be suffering from an extremely genetic condition that is slowly turning them to stone. Twenty-six-year-old twin sisters Zoe Buxton and Lucy Fretwell are suffering from a condition called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), which affects one-in-two-million, a report published in the Daily Mail said.

According to the report, Buxton and Fretwell are one of the just three twins worldwide known and diagnosed with the genetic condition.

The twins who live in Ballymena, County Antrim in Northern Ireland were diagnosed with FOP at the age of eight, however, they have been suffering the side effects since birth.

According to The Irish  Sun report, both girls were born with small bony lumps on their toes, a common sign of FOP; however, the doctors failed to detect it at the time of their birth.

According to The Deccan Chronicle, FOP causes bones to replace muscle and tendons over a period of time. The report further added that it is a rare inherited disorder that worsens with time. Some of the common symptoms of the condition include formation of bones in muscles, ligaments and tendons; shortened big toes at birth, and makes it difficult to eat if the jaw is affected.

According to reports, there is no permanent cure for FOP, however, both the sisters are participating in a trial for a new drug that could help them relieve the pain.

Reports said that Buxton who is a fashion blogger is married to 29-year-old gasman Mike Buxton, whereas Fretwell met her 27-year-old fiance Michael Smyth online in 2015. Smyth is a teacher.

FOP can become worse with time and the twins could lose their mobility. The twins are trying to think positively even though their future is uncertain.

The Daily Mail quoted Fretwell as saying, "It is difficult to stay positive, but it helps to have someone else going through the same thing as you. We support each other through the bad days and have also joined an awareness group to meet other people with FOP."


Published Date: Jul 18, 2017 04:51 pm | Updated Date: Jul 19, 2017 04:11 pm