9:30pm Wednesday, February 10 on TV One
Superhuman: World’s Tallest Children follows the lives of school kids who have reached superhuman heights, including the teen who towers over basketball players, the tallest family in England and the girl from Bangkok hoping to achieve a Guinness World record for her height (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).
Using popular science about the human body and human-interest stories filmed around the world, this documentary asks, what’s it like to be head and shoulders above all the other children at school? What are the day-to-day challenges for these children and their parents? And how does their condition affect the children’s health?
Brenden Adams is the world’s tallest boy. At just 13, he’s seven feet four and a half inches tall. He has a unique genetic condition which isn’t hereditary – the rest of his family are of average height. Adams is two feet taller than his friends, but still attempts to join in the activities of a normal 13-year-old.
In the first year of his life, Adams was already the size of a three-year-old. By the age of six, he towered 12 inches over the other children, and by eight he was the height of a fully grown man. Now, at 13, he’s a foot and a half taller than the average American man. But his condition is putting his life at risk, and his doctors are struggling to understand why. As he continues to grow, his parents grow desperate.
“You want an answer, you want to know what’s wrong with your child, why this is happening, and nobody can tell you, nobody can give you an answer,” says his mother, Debbie Adams.
However, Adams is not alone. Naomi Van Nes, a member of Britain’s tallest family, is just 11, but she is already five feet nine inches. When they go out as a family they are the object of curiosity and at times ridicule, but at home they can be themselves. Van Nes says: “I do notice I am the shortest at home, and the tallest at school. I think I feel better at home – because I just feel normal.”
Super-height is also a positive part of life for Marvadene Anderson, 15, who is tall enough to play for the Jamaican national basketball team. She hasn’t seen her father, Garret Anderson since she was seven years old, and came up to his waist, but that’s about to change as the pair are reunited.
However, not everyone sees their height as a good thing. Angelique Cooper, 8, and Malee Duangdee, 17, have both struggled to fit in and make friends because of their extraordinary height.
Duangdee says: “So many times I ask myself why? I sit in front of the mirror and cry. Why am I not the same as other people?”