Very few details are known about the life of Adam Rainer, but in a sense he represents an extraordinary case in medical history. And for good reason: he is the only man in the history of mankind to have been recognized as a dwarf and a giant.
Adam Rainer was born in 1899 to parents of average height in Graz, Austria-Hungary. Very quickly, it appears that the young man is shorter than most children of his age. Then, as he grows and matures, it becomes evident that his stature is significantly shorter than the average man. At the age of 21, in 1920, he was only 1.18 m tall.
Doctors then officially consider him a “dwarf”. However, medical reports at the time point out that Rainer developed unusually large hands and feet for a man of his size (shoe size 43).
Too small to fight, he was thus refused in the army twice, in 1917 and 1918, to take part in the fighting of the First World War.
Then, at 21, everything changed. Adam is experiencing a significant growth spurt due to a tumor in the pituitary gland pressing against its pituitary gland which begins to produce large amounts of hormones.
At the age of 32, he has already grown a meter tall, reaching a height of 2.18 meters. Previously too small to fit into the military, he now towers over just about anyone he meets. He is then considered to be a giant.
A life of complications
Subsequently, a medical team will attempt to operate on Rainer to remove the tumor in the hope of preventing further growth. This operation seemed to have succeeded, its size having remained unchanged the following year. However, her spine had actually started to curl (scoliosis). In other words, Rainer was still growing. Less quickly, of course, but he was still growing.
This incredible rate of growth has exhausted his body. Due to his very severe scoliosis, he had to remain bedridden until the end of his life in a home for “the elderly”, developing other complications. In particular, he became almost blind in his right eye and deaf in his left ear, and developed kyphosis, a deformity of the back caused by the excessive curvature of the spine.
In the meantime, the poor man had continued to grow. By his death on March 4, 1950, then aged 51, he had reached the size of 2.34 m. While during his early years he was considered one of Austria’s shortest men, he eventually became the tallest man in the country.