Bangkok | 8-year-old Mai Li Fay, from Bangkok, is far from living the usual life of a girl her age.
Every day, thousands of people gather to the front of her family’s house to get a chance of seeing and possibly touching the young girl, a gesture which both Buddhists and Hindu pilgrims seem to perceive as a guarantee of good fortune.
According to the country’s top medical expert, Dr. Ping Lao, the young girl suffers a very rare syndrome known as the Serpentosis Malianorcis or Jing Jing’s disease, which gives her lower body a distinct reptilian form and aspect.
Only a handful of such cases have been recorded throughout history, so the scientific knowledge accumulated about the pathology is rather limited and there is no cure in sight at the moment.
The Fay family have welcomed the situation brought by Mai Li’s situation with a mix of anguish and excitement, as the never-ending lines of tourists and pilgrims have brought the badly impoverished family some substantial revenues and given them an important rise in their social status but cost them there privacy and intimacy.