Broc Brown the tallest teen in the world at 7ft 8ins and growing but at what cost? The heart ache, the health woes and the hope of dealing with genetic disorder.
Like all things outstanding, defying, extraordinary and out of this world, there’s normally a little spoken brutal reality that forces the layman to pause and wonder. The same unfortunately can be said about Broc Brown who is officially the tallest teen in the world.
At 7ft 8ins (233 cm) and growing (15 cm every year thank you very much), Broc Brown, the 19 year old Jackson, Michigan teen is already on the way to surpassing the current world’s tallest teen, Sultan Kosen, who stands at 8ft 2ins (248 cm).
Reflects the teen’s mother, Darci via BarcroftTV: ‘I’d say Broc was around 157cm tall when he was in kindergarten.’
‘When he got into middle school he was around 182cm tall and by high school he was 213cm tall — he could easily grow 15cm in a year.’
‘It’s a genetic disorder and there’s nothing that can stop him from growing — I don’t know if he will ever stop.’
Diagnosed with Sotos Syndrome when just 5, Brock’s family were told he would be unlikely live beyond his teenage years.
The condition, also known as cerebral gigantism effects one in every 15 000 people but doctors are now confident that Broc will have a normal life despite the ever present and persistent health problems the condition has brought him.
Along with his gigantism Broc also suffers from learning difficulties, strain on his heart, curvature of the spine and narrowing of the spinal cord.
He was also born with one kidney so is unable to take painkillers despite suffering constantly with his back.
Told Brown: ‘It kind of feels like a big tennis racket has gone through my back.
‘I do stuff to stop it hurting and it makes me feel like there’s a needle gone through it — it’s hard to deal with. I just wish the doctors could do something to help my pain.’
Broc and his mother Darci recently travelled from their home in Michigan to the Arkansas Children’s Centre to meet with Sotos expert Bradley Schaefer.
While he could not help with Broc’s chronic pain he did have some good news for the family.
Dr Schaefer said: ‘Broc is easily the tallest man I have ever seen. Unfortunately he will always have to deal with some form of pain but I believe that he will now have a regular life span.’
Responded the world’s tallest teen: ‘It’s the best thing I could have heard, I’m so happy that I will live for a long time.’
But despite his positive news Broc is still aware of how hard his new, long life will be.
Offers Broc’s mother: ‘He has ADHD and intermediate explosive disorder. When he gets mad, he’s mad.
‘It wouldn’t take him two seconds to pop a hole in the wall — it could be very dangerous if he wasn’t on medication and able to be calmed.
‘But overall he is a big softie, his heart is as big as his body.’
And his health problems haven’t just affected him.
Darci added: ‘When you have a five-year-old who has hurt themselves and they come running at you, you pick them up.
‘I would carry him around when he was half the size of me so I have a lot of back problems.’
The financial implications of being one of the world’s tallest men have been hard for the family to bear.
Broc has to have all of his clothes and shoes specially made and the socks to cover his huge size 28 feet cost $24 a pair.
He also has a specially made 2.4m bed and a specialist chair that cost $1285.
Darci added: ‘We have had a couple of benefits for Broc where the community got together and helped us out.
‘He made around $12,500 and we used it to buy socks, shoes and clothes.
‘It didn’t last long, we had a lot of outfits but within a year he was out of them and it was time to do it all again.’
But despite their problems Broc and his mum are looking forward to their long future together.
Broc said: “I hopefully want to work for a sporting goods store so something like that, a cashier or something.
“I just want to have my own job.”
Darci added: ‘I don’t ever want to push him in to doing something he doesn’t want to do.’
‘I just hope he has a good life and is happy with everything he ever does.’
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— Andrew Kipkoech Sudi (@Kipkoech_the4th) October 31, 2014