Seventy-one-year-old retiree Jo Cameron has lived with minimal pain and anxiety for her entire life due to a genetic mutation that suppresses those feelings. “I didn’t know anything was strange was going on until I was 65,” Cameron, who is vegan, told The Guardian. The Scottish resident found out that she responded to pain and anxiety differently after learning from X-rays that her hip had greatly deteriorated, and while she experienced a decreased range of motion, she felt minimal pain. Cameron was examined by specialists at the University of Oxford and University College London who found that she had two genetic mutations. Researchers are now studying Cameron’s unique situation to better understand natural pain-relief methods. “I had no idea until a few years ago that there was anything that unusual about how little pain I feel—I just thought it was normal. Learning about it now fascinates me as much as it does anyone else,” Cameron told BBC. “I would be elated if any research into my own genetics could help other people who are suffering.” Since Cameron is unable to feel pain, she uses other cues to keep herself out of danger, such as her sense of smell when cooking and accidentally burning herself. “I’m vegan, so the smell is pretty obvious,” Cameron said. “There’s no other burning flesh going on in the house.”

Photo Credit: BBC

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