The solar kids

Abdul Rasheed and Shoaib Ahmed are two Pakistani brothers aged nine and thirteen suffering from a mysterious and particularly rare illness. During the day, they are very active boys.

But as soon as the sun goes down, they collapse into a vegetative state — they become completely paralysed and are unable to talk.

For more details about the mysterious "Solar Boys," you can watch the video:

Their dad calls them "the solar kids,” claiming that they draw their energy from the sun. But this notion has been dismissed seeing as the boys can move during the day even when kept in a dark room, shaded areas outdoors or during a rainstorm.

Dr. Javed Akram, a professor of medicine at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, explains: “We took this case as a challenge. Our doctors are doing medical tests to determine why these kids remain active in the day but cannot open their eyes, why they cannot talk or eat when sun goes down.”

Their father, Mohammad Hashim, is desperate. If the doctors themselves don’t even understand it, what could it possibly be? For him, there is no doubt in his mind that it is black magic. So he takes his two children to spiritual healers and in doing so, hopes to heal their illness through religious education.

But nothing works. Nobody’s able to help his two sons lead a normal life.

Yet, after undergoing extensive medical testing (over 300 tests in total) the doctors believe the problem is most likely genetic – the boys' parents are first cousins and two of their six children died at an early age, their daughter however seems to be unaffected.

Unfortunately, to this day no remedy exists for this illness and the doctors are desperately trying to discover and describe this new condition. For now, the only thing the doctors can do is advise the parents not to have any more children without carrying out a prenatal test to ensure that the fetus doesn’t have the illness. But in the meantime, Abdul and Shoaib are starting to reap the benefits of the medical treatment they are receiving, which is making their lives easier.

Thanks to the medication, the boys can stay active until 10 pm, where as before they would become paralyzed as soon as the sun set. “They have improved so much that I believe they will fully recover if treatment continues”, their father comments.

Despite their strange affliction, the boys are upbeat and energetic. They say they’re delighted with the food they receive every day and the attention they get from the doctors and the media. It’s kind of like a private suite they have at the hospital! They are also hopeful for their future. Shoaib wants to become a teacher and Abdul an Islamic scholar.