Poland Syndrome is a rare disorder that affects about 1 in every 20,000 people.
It is a congenital condition present at birth, named after the physician Alfred Poland, who first described it in 1841.
The disorder is characterized by the incomplete or underdevelopment of chest muscles on one side of the body, usually the right side.
As a result, individuals with Poland Syndrome can have a visibly smaller chest with missing or underdeveloped ribs, and their affected arm may also be shorter or smaller than the other one.
The cause of Poland Syndrome is not exactly clear. Still, it is believed to result from disruption during fetal development, such as a vascular problem in the developing embryo or a genetic mutation.
However, in most cases, it can occur spontaneously without any known cause or familial pattern.
The condition can be diagnosed at birth, but sometimes, it may not become evident until later in life when physical growth highlights the differences between the two sides of the body.
Poland Syndrome doesn’t affect life expectancy or overall health.
Celebrities with Poland Syndrome
1. Lewis Hatchett
Hatchett is a retired English cricketer, mindset coach, podcaster, and founder of MindStrong Sport.
The 33-year-old first made his first debut in May 2010 when he played for Sussex against Cambridge MCCU.
He retired from playing cricket in 2016 because of medical advice following a second stress back fracture.
Hatchett was born with Poland Syndrome. In his case, he has two ribs missing and no pectoral muscle on his right side.
2. Bryce Molder
Holder is a retired American professional golfer.
He began playing golf in high school, where he was a member of the Conway High School Golf team.
After 16 years of PGA and Nationwide tours, Molder retired in 2017.
He doesn’t have a left pectoral muscle. He was born with four webbed fingers on his left hand, which is shorter than his right hand.
However, he underwent two surgeries before the age of 5 to correct some issues on his left hand, including webbing.
3. Ted Danson
Danson is a 75-year-old American actor and producer.
Though he hasn’t spoken much about his condition, in 2000, Danson disclosed that he had been a victim of bullying growing up since he was born with Poland Syndrome.
Danson doesn’t have a right pectoral muscle.
4. Mathew Silcocks
Silcocks is an Australian athlete born on May 5, 1993.
He is a member of the Knox Athletics Club and plays Paralympic Athletics, a sport played by people with disabilities.
Silcocks has no left pectoral muscle, which affected the development of his left arm.
5. Jerome Thomas
Thomas is a former French boxer. The champion retired in 2012 after 11 years of boxing.
Thomas has no pectoral muscle on the left, and both his left hand and arm are shorter than the right ones.
6. Richard Stott
Stott is a 35-year-old British actor and stand-up comedian.
He was born without a left pectoral muscle, and his index and middle fingers on the left hand were unusable and had to be amputated.
The doctors amputated his second biggest toes on both feet and attached them to his hand.
He also had a piece of muscle moved from the shoulder blade to his left chest.
7. Clay Mason-Stephens
Mason-Stephenson is a 26-year-old Australian artistic gymnast.
He began performing gymnastics at the age of 5.
Born with Poland Syndrome, his parents only learned that he was missing his right side pectoral muscle when he was three years old.
8. Clare Dea
Dea is an Australian author, performing artist, money mentor, and keynote speaker.
She was born with Poland Syndrome, which she kept a secret until she was 28.
Missing a left pectoral muscle, she did not develop her left breast, which left her ashamed of her body.
9. Fernando Alonso
Alonso is a Spanish motorsports racing driver.
The 42-year-old Formula One World Champion was born without a right pectoral muscle.
He, however, didn’t allow his condition to stand in the way of his passion for racing.
10. Gary Burghoff
Burghoff is an American actor, drummer, and tap dancer known for his role in the TV series M*A*S*H.
He was born with brachydactyly (short fingers), affecting three left-hand fingers.
The condition is caused by Poland Syndrome.
11. Hailey Dawson
Dawson is a 13-year-old American Ceremonial First Pitcher.
She was born without a right pectoral muscle. She is missing three right-hand fingers, and the other two are underdeveloped.
When she was five years old, Dawson was fitted with a 3D model of a robotic hand, which she began using in 2018 to throw the Ceremonial First Pitch in all Major League Baseball stadiums.
12. Kim Daybell
Daybell is a British retired Paralympian and junior doctor at Whittington Hospital in London.
He participated in para table tennis from 2007 to 2022.
Born with Poland Syndrome, Daybell has an underdeveloped right hand, which only has two fingers.
13. Matt Goss
Goss is an English singer, songwriter, and musician formerly of the Bros.
He was born without the lower pectoral muscle on his right and kept his condition a secret because, to him, it’s not a disability.
Since 2022, he has been raising awareness about Poland Syndrome and feels more confident with his body.
14. Gunnar Anderson
Anderson is a certified personal trainer who began weight training at 17.
He was born without the lower pectoral muscle of his right side.
As a trainer, he spends most of his time shirtless, yet he displays confidence and makes the best of his physical appearance.
15. Jeremy Beadle
Beadle was an English radio and TV presenter, writer, and producer.
He was born with a withered right hand, which was very small.
As a result, before he reached the age of two, his mom frequently took him to the hospital, and eventually, he underwent surgery to fix his webbed fingers.
To Sum Up
Poland Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder that affects the development of chest muscles and bones on one side of the body.
While it can be emotionally challenging, individuals affected by this disorder can achieve a better quality of life, as evidenced by celebrities who have made it in the media industry despite having Poland Syndrome.