The two brothers have come to be known as the “solar kids” and their case has completely mystified Pakistani doctors.
Aged 9 and 13, the boys are normal active children during the day. But once the sun goes down, they both lapse into a vegetative state — unable to move or talk. Javed Akram, a professor of medicine at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, told that he had no idea what was causing the symptoms.
Akram said the government was providing free medical care to the siblings, who come from an impoverished family.
The brothers are undergoing extensive medical testing in the capital, Islamabad, and samples of their blood have been sent to overseas specialists for further examination, he said. Researchers are also collecting soil and air samples from the family’s home village.
Mohammad Hashim, the father of the two brothers, comes from a village near Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province. He and his wife are first cousins and two of their six children died at an early age. Their other two children have not displayed any unusual symptoms.
His simple theory: “I think my sons get energy from sun.”
But doctors have already dismissed the idea that sunlight plays a role, noting that the boys can move during the day even when kept in a dark room or during a rainstorm.