Rare condition gives man extraordinary flexibility
POSTED: Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 2:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 2:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Joshua Carter of Leesburg, Georgia is an ordinary guy with an ordinary job, but as he was growing up he noticed that he was different than his classmates.
"It was probably elementary school to middle school. I realized that I could touch my shoulders and nobody else could," he says.
After going to the doctor, he discovered that he had a condition known as cleidocranial dysostosis.
"It's a condition in where you can have defects in certain parts of the connective tissue in the body. In this circumstance, you're looking at bone, in where the clavicle may not form or may be shorter than it would be," explains Dr. Troy Skidmore of the Phoebe Orthopaedic Specialty Group said,
With no collarbone, Carter can squeeze into places that few other people can, like an 11 inch wide opening. It's a genetic condition, so he's not the only one in his family who has it.
"My sister, my mom and my mom's granddad," Carter says.
Many genetic defects can have serious health consequences, but fortunately this one is not generally harmful.
"These people end up living normal lives, meaning in longevity," Dr. Skidmore says.
The other potential problem would be social. It's great to be able to squeeze into your car when someone has parked close to you at the mall, but people with any condition that makes them different can be ostracized by their peers.
Not so for Carter's co-workers. Their reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.
"They love it, they think it's really cool," he says.
If others with the condition suffer abuse from their peers, Carter has some advice.
"You've just got to roll with it and move on. Because at the end of the day you're really a little cooler than they are," Carter says.