“Baby growing so rapidly that his mom can’t care for him soon gets the strangest diagnosis. Whether it’s a pair of twins conjoined at the head or a baby born with a third leg, the medical world is full of anomalies.
Just ask any doctor who’s been in the field for quite some time, and they’re sure to have at least a dozen stories of eye-opening medical cases. Like this one, for instance, a Michigan mother named Darcy Brown Elliott knew almost immediately something was different about her newborn son, Brock. When doctors finally figured out exactly what the problem was, it put the Elliott family in a very unusual position.
When Darcy gave birth to Brock, he was just under 8 pounds, totally healthy. However, he was 22 inches long, which had all the doctors and nurses staring in awe. This kid was clearly going to be tall, but no one had any idea just how big he would be. Darcy couldn’t believe the size of her newborn son. As impressed as she was, she also felt slightly nervous that something was medically wrong with him. It wasn’t every day that very long babies like Brock were born.
Still, Brock was a very happy-go-lucky kid. As he grew up, he loved playing with the other children from the neighborhood, and he would always tower over everyone else his age. Even kids who were said to be big for their age were dwarfed by Brock’s frame. It’s perfectly normal to experience sudden growth spurts growing up, but Brock was going through them far more frequently than any of the other children he spent time with. In fact, by the time he was in kindergarten, he was over five feet tall.
Needless to say, as impressive as Brock’s size was, it made life for his mother difficult. She developed back problems just from trying to carry him, and she found it hard to keep up with his seemingly unending appetite. It was about this time Darcy grew concerned for her son. His size prevented her from properly caring for him, and he couldn’t engage in simple activities like bike riding.
Of course, for Darcy, her son’s size didn’t mean that she loved him any less. If anything, she loved him more, but she also worried about him. She needed to find out once and for all what exactly was happening to his body.
Brock’s mother brought him to several medical consultations, and doctors ran plenty of tests on the young boy to determine the cause of his rapid growth. Finally, Darcy was given the astonishing medical results. Doctors diagnosed Brock with a rare hereditary condition called Sotos syndrome, also known in the medical community as cerebral giantism. It affects about 1 in every 15,000 people, and in every case, it causes extreme growth spurts.
The family finally had some answers to their questions, but it didn’t necessarily bring any peace of mind to Brock or his mother. If Brock truly never stopped growing, eventually he’d be plagued with health problems. What was in store for his future?
Brock and his mother continued making medical visits after the diagnosis just to make sure everything was okay. But on one particular visit, the doctor told Brock’s mother something that shattered her heart. Because of his size, it was unlikely that Brock would live past his teen years. There would simply be too much stress put on his heart as he aged. Worse yet, he was only 14 and already experiencing severe pain throughout most of every day.
Brock needed certain aspects of his life tailored due to his extreme stature. He had a specialized bed made since he slept as much as 16 hours per day during growth spurts, and his family had a special chair designed to comfortably fit him. It didn’t solve every problem, but it was a start.
Brock clearly was a presence at his high school, and nearly every student knew him. He had an infectious charm; people just wanted to be around him. So, whenever he fell ill, his friends rallied around and showed their utmost support.
Despite the challenges, Brock has done some fascinating things throughout his life. For one, he held the Guinness World Record for the tallest teen up until 2015. Then, in 2016, he was approached by a television network. TLC approached Brock about a documentary called “Tallest Teens” that featured several teenagers who topped the growth charts in America. Brock was more than happy to give viewers a peek into his daily life.
But none of these things were as important as one particular television appearance later that same year. After filming “The Tallest Teen,” Brock and his mother both appeared on “The Maury Show.” The episode was about anti-bullying campaigns. Brock and Darcy delivered an encouraging message about putting a halt to the epidemic plaguing schools.
Not long after Brock’s television appearance, he met with a doctor in Arkansas who specializes in Sotos syndrome, and he gave the family an absolutely fantastic update.
Although he would probably have chronic pain throughout his life, it seemed Brock had beaten the odds and was going to have a normal lifespan. As of 2019, Brock, at 21, stood at 7 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 500 pounds. He was disappointed about the constant struggle with growth, especially because he’s heard so many stories about medical quick fixes to problems.”