The story of John Wilson Webb - the largest child in the worldBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/the-story-of-john-wilson-webb-the-largest-child-in-the-world.html
Nowadays, looking at people with a non-standard appearance, and even more so making fun of them, is a sign of bad parenting. But there were times when deviations aroused a lively interest in the public. It sounds terrible today, but it was due to such onlookers that many unfortunate people managed to survive. Such a fate was prepared for John Wilson Webb, the largest child in the world.
John was born in 1906 to a poor American family in Pittsburgh. At first he was no different from many plump, ruddy boys. But at the age of one year, the baby began to gain weight rapidly. By the age of 3, he already weighed 54 kg, that is, also as an adult of medium build.
Soon the father of the family died of tuberculosis and John and his mother had a hard time. The woman worked two jobs, and besides this, she had to take care of her son. The boy could hardly walk, could not dress himself and was generally unable to serve himself due to his great weight. In addition, he had delayed pain syndrome. People with this disease feel pain from the injury only after some time, which is life-threatening.
Given all this, one can understand the widow Webb, who, having received an offer to conclude a contract with a circus, agreed to show her son there for money. At the beginning of the 20th century, this was not something terrible, and many people made money that way. Of course, John was far from a "camel girl" and his mother received only $ 10 for one performance. But for the Webbs, it was good money to help make ends meet.
The Circus of Outlandish Wonders, in which young John Webb worked, toured the United States and even once visited Europe. In the Old World, not only spectators, but also doctors showed attention to an unusual boy. It has been studied as an extraordinary case of gigantism and even photographed for textbooks. John was also adored by American journalists, greedy for any sensations.
Unfortunately, the traces of the largest child in the world were lost when he was 5 years old. It is not known how his further fate developed and whether he even lived to adulthood. The fact is that an anomaly, like Webb's, affects not only appearance. In such people, internal organs usually also suffer, which increase to unimaginable sizes. Even today, supporting patients with such a diagnosis is not easy, and a century ago it was impossible.