The parents of a one-year-old boy in China are desperately trying to rid their son of a rare disease that is slowly "turning him into stone".

The young boy named "An An" from Sichuan Province in south-western China suffers from Albers-Schonberg disease - also known as osteopetrosis or "stone bone" - an extremely rare inherited disorder that causes the bones to harden and become denser.

Left untreated, the million-in-one-chance illness can lead to fractures and loss of cranial nerve function causing blindness, deafness and facial paralysis.

Sadly for An An, there is no cure for the disease, but his mum and dad, Dai Qixia and Yuan Guohui, are refusing to give up and are trying every curative therapy that they can afford.


Now with their son at Beijing Children's Hospital in the Chinese capital, the parents can do little to help despite both being medical professionals.

An An's dad works in rehabilitation and his mum is a nurse.

"It's everyone's dream to be a doctor," Yuan said, adding: "But now I hate myself."

An An was born In October 2016 and his parent's received the official stone bone diagnosis at the end of last year from doctors in Beijing.

The mum and dad, who have since quit their jobs, can only wait by An An's bedside as medics search for a suitable candidate for a bone marrow transplant, which is not a cure but believed to aid the sufferer with healthy cells.

Baby An An with his mum Dai Qixia and dad Yuan Guohui. Photo / australscope
Baby An An with his mum Dai Qixia and dad Yuan Guohui. Photo / australscope

The bone marrow transplant and follow-up treatment will cost the couple over one million RMB ($211,620), with about 260,000 RMB ($55,000) raised by members of the public so far.

An An's mum said the boy's eyesight has already begun to suffer as a result of the disorder and doctors have told Yuan and his wife to "prepare" themselves for the years to come, as their son may suffer greatly should a match not be found.

- australscope