The 28-year-old graphic designer Umar Mughal has suffered from genetic bone disorder Osteogenesis Imperfecta since birth. His soft, fragile bones frequently fractured while he was growing up, and poor healthcare in his home country Pakistan resulted in his tiny stature and deformed limbs.
FIND OUT how local doctors were responsible for ruining his body’s natural development.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta is an inherited bone disease that has no cure and is a lifelong condition. There are eight types of the disease, which can range from mild to fatal. Children born with Type II and Type III are typically born with bone fractures, and often die as newborns. The condition is very rare, and there are fewer than 20,000 cases reported a year world-wide.
Learn MORE about how Umar grew up with Osteogenesis Imperfecta.
Umar’s legs cannot support his body weight, and he gets around by scooting across the floor at home. He has to do physical therapy daily for the rest of his life to maintain mobility of his shortened limbs. The cost of his medical care is wildly expensive and recurring. He faces additional difficulties because of his rounded shoulders and scoliosis in his spine.
HEAR what his physical therapist has to say about his prognosis.
While he can move about freely in his own home, Umar is completely reliant on others to carry him around when he’s out in public. He was largely dependent on his brother for transportation, but gradually became more autonomous after getting a job at a graphic design firm 10 years ago.
CHECK OUT how he navigates the city.
When Umar got his first graphic design job, he worked his way up through every department, despite coworkers doubting his ability to perform at the same level able-bodied people can.
“Everyone in that studio thought that I would not be able to work. Even my manager thought the same thing… He said he would shorten the duration of my shift because he thought I couldn’t work for that long,” he remarked. “But I showed them I can work hard, and within the three months of learning, I amazed everyone. [They] started to support me as much as they could, and they all still do.”
Find out what Umar does for a living HERE.
Umar was taught by his mother to live his life like a normal healthy man, and began using ride share apps to hail motorcycle drivers for lifts. He now does everything on his own, including attending religious services, getting to and from work, and teaching graphic design to students.
SEE how Umar moves around in public.
In addition to growing his career, Umar has plans to give fellow disabled people a chance to thrive.
“I’m working on resources to open an institution where I will give jobs to people with disabilities,” he detailed. “I will make them independent by teaching them work and providing them jobs and shelter, so they don’t ask for help. Instead, they will be able to help someone else, making a chain.”
FIND OUT what Umar has planned for his institution.
Famous People With Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a genetic disorder that results in brittle bones that break easily and depending on the severity, can result in an early death for those who suffer from the disease.
Despite the high morality rate of Type II Osteogenesis Imperfecta, many people survive when diagnosed with one of the 20 other types of the degenerative disorder.
The disease is most prominently recognized by the general public due to a story line on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” when doctor’s Jackson Avery and April Kepner’s son dies within minutes of his birth, and from Samuel L. Jackson’s depiction of supervillain Elijah Price in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable,” starring Bruce Willis.
However, most people don’t know that there are plenty of famous people with Osteogenesis Imperfecta thriving in the world.
Another famous person with brittle bone disease is actor Atticus Shaffer, who is most well known for playing Brick Heck on Patricia Heaton starrer, “The Middle,” has Type I Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which resulted in his sort stature of only 4’8.”
British actor Kerry Ingram, who played Shireen Baratheon on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” and appeared in 32 episodes of Netflix series “Free Rein,” has a mild form of Osteogenesis Imperfecta.
Australian actor Quentin Kenihan was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, but appeared in 2015 “Mad Max: Fury Road” beside Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, before his death in 2018.