She was hit by a speeding car and walked away with only minor scrapes … and no crying. She’s unafraid of danger. She can go for days without eating or sleeping. Is she Wonder Woman? Supergirl? No, she’s a 7-year-old who doctors are calling the “bionic” girl and whose mother says she’s “made of steel.”
Olivia Farnsworth lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England. Her mother, Niki Trepak, says she noticed that Olivia was different soon after she was born when she stopped napping at nine months and was soon a highly active kid who only needed two hours of sleep a night.
I’ll always remember when she was five and started school, I saw her yawn for the first time.
Then there was the time she fell on her face and her teeth went through her lip and she didn’t cry. But even that didn’t prepare her family for the day Olivia was run over by a car and dragged down the street for 100 feet. According to her mother, while witnesses were screaming, she got up with a tire mark on her chest and a scrape on her hip and walked away without shedding a tear. What kind of superhuman child is this?
While she sounds like a character on “Heroes.” her doctors say Olivia is one of only 100 people in the world with a “chromosome 6 deletion.” That means her chromosome 6 (out of 46) is missing, which causes one or more of the conditions she has – no feelings of pain, hunger or exhaustion. It’s believed that Olivia is the first known human to have all three conditions simultaneously.
Is Olivia a ‘girl of steel’? Doctors say she survived the car accident and other serious injuries because she has no fear of pain – thus she doesn’t tense up and is able to roll with the
punches bumpers. However, she still needs to sleep and eat, even if she doesn’t feel the urge to. They have her on a strict schedule for both and, despite her past history of surviving crashes and falls, advise her to avoid dangerous situations and not jump off of high places even when her friends double-dare her to.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for chromosome 6 deletion. Olivia and her family belong to a support group called Unique for people with rare chromosome disorders and Ms. Trepak is currently making as many people aware of these disorders as she can.
Superhuman? Not really. Super rare? Definitely. Super nice? That’s what her mom calls Olivia, the girl of steel.