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Meet the tallest six-year-old in Britain: Sophie is as tall as children twice her age due to rare syndrome
14:11 GMT, 23 April 2012
Growing up: Sophie, aged just six, already towers over her friend Daisy due to Marfan Syndrome
Meet Sophie Hollins, who at 4ft 10ins is the tallest six-year-old in Britain.
Sophie, from Southampton, wears an adult size three shoe, jeans for 11-year-olds and is the average height of a 12-year-old – twice her age.
Despite all this, she still has her baby teeth.
As a baby she was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a rare condition which causes elongation of the arms, legs, fingers and toes.
Now age six, Sophie is head and shoulders above her classmates and sleeps in an adult-sized bed.
Her mother Lorraine says Sophie has always been a foot taller than the children in her class.
The dental nurse, who is 5ft 3, said: 'Sophie’s catching up to me in height. I’m only a size four shoe, so soon she could be wearing mine.
'She weighed 10lbs at birth and was very long. None of the clothes I had bought for her fit.
'Sophie was straight into clothes for three month olds when she was born. I had to get hand-me-downs from friends.
'When she was two she was wearing clothes for four-year-olds.'
Marfans Syndrome causes expansion of the soft connective tissues in the body, which results in long limbs and can cause other health problems.
From the age of two Sophie’s retinas began to detach and she underwent corrective surgery, for which she wears special glasses.
The soft tissue around her heart is also at risk of expanding so Sophie is on medication to control this.
Lorraine, who is separated from Sophie’s dad, Ian, 45, also has a four-year-old son, Ryan, who does not have Marfans.
Lorraine, 38, said: 'Because Sophie’s arms and legs are too long, she is quite clumsy and not very good at sports.
'At the moment, like any six year old, she’s waiting for her adult teeth to come through.
'Her baby teeth have fallen out so she looks quite strange being so tall.'
Marfan Syndrome: the condition means Sophie has elongated limbs and fingers
'I'm very protective of her': Sophie with her mother Lorraine and brother Aaron
The syndrome affects 1 in 5,000 to 10,000 people and is caused by mutations in the Fibrillin1 gene.
60% of patients have eye-lens dislocation which also needs to be monitored.
Life expectancy used to be around 40, but sufferers can now expect a usual life expectancy.
In two thirds of cases it runs through families, the other third is thought to be spontaneous.
Abraham Lincoln was once thought to have had Marfan syndrome, but this has since been discounted.
Lorraine added: 'I’m very protective of her, though.
'Some people don’t realise she’s so young and they treat her like an older child, which can be scary for her.
'I have to take her birth certificate to places like theme parks to prove she’s under 11 and eligible for the child rate.'
Coincidently, Sophie was in the same pre-school class at the former tallest five-year-old in the UK, Liana Lisle.
Lorraine said: 'Sophie and Liana were friends at school.
'Me and Liana’s mum, Donna, had an awful lot in common because our daughters were very tall.'
Lorraine added: 'I even gave Liana’s mum some of Sophie’s old clothes because Sophie had grown out of them.'
The condition often leads to aortic root dilation – a life-threatening complication.
If it is undiagnosed, the aorta can tear, which will often lead to the death of the victim almost immediately.
Over the top: Sophie offers some support to her friends Daisy and Keira