Edward Hernandez is 28, and his dream is to own a country farm, have a girlfriend, and drive a Jeep. It’s not a huge dream, but for Edward, who lives in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Colombia’s capital city of Bogota, relies on his parents for everything, and stands at just 27 inches tall, it might as well involve building a castle made of diamonds on the moon.
Until 2009, Edward and his family lived in relative obscurity. He had been angry and depressed as a child when he didn’t grow while the other children or his siblings did, but he was beginning to accept his fate. He mostly stayed indoors to avoid the constant battle of people picking him up and ‘kids asking silly questions’, but he and his family were content running his mother Noami’s textile business above their house.
Just six weeks into Edward’s record, the world’s smallest teenager – Khagendra Thapa Magar, in Nepal – turned 18 and became eligible for the ‘world’s smallest man’ category. One inch shorter than Edward, it made all the difference. He claimed the record and Edward became old news. Suddenly the attention dried up and Edward became depressed, missing the stardom he once held. ‘When I first saw him I got really mad and felt in a bad mood,’ Edward said. ‘But my mum said I should be happy for him.’
New title-holder: Khagendra Thapa Magar claimed Edward’s record when he’d held it for just six weeks.