The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Male, 33, Seeks Puberty
Lawrence Koomson, a doctor living and working in London, is frequently asked: "Doctor, how old are you?". He has never had acne, has never had bodily hair, and has never had an erection.
But, this is about to change, as over the next six months he will go through puberty - at the age of 33.
Dr. Pierre Bouloux, an endocrinologist, has tested Lawrence's blood testosterone level and finds it is less than 0.5. The reference testosterone level for a men of his age is between 9.9 and 27.8. Lawrence has the testosterone level of a one-year-old.
Lawrence Koomson has a condition known as Kallman's Syndrome where the hypothalamus, an area in the brain, is not functioning correctly, causing a hormonal imbalance. Kallman's Syndrome predominantly affects men, but can also affect women.
Dr. Pierre Bouloux
Dr. Bouloux proposes a treatment to boost his testosterone levels. The treatment will consist of six small transdermal implants in the buttocks, which will release 200mg of testosterone over the next six months. Te implants can be placed in the abdomen, it is a matter of patient choice.
As a teenager in Ghana, Lawrence was quiet and withdrawn, and did not show the usual teenage interest in rough and tumble sports or in girls. Instead, he stuck to his studies, at which he excelled and qualified as a doctor. He moved to London 2 years ago, where he works in a local hospital.
His lack of testosterone mean that his muscles and sexual organs have not developed fully, and he has no sexual urges or fantasies. He has had a girlfriend in the past. Ten years ago he was seeing Ruby, but it was very much a platonic affair and was destined for failure for this reason. Lawrence did not confide in Ruby about his condition.
Three days after the testosterone implant treatment he awoke to his very first erection. He was ecstatic, but scared as he had never experienced anything like it before. He talks about getting voice training to lower his child's voice and brother Gerry jokes about him ending up sounding like Barry White. Gerry is only three years older than Lawrence, but they look more like father and son.
Lawrence is encouraged to begin exercising to help build up his muscles, so he begins jogging and joins the local gym. Unfortunately, this does not last long. In typical pubescent teenage style, his mind is elsewhere, he rebels at being told what to do, and he cannot concentrate on anything for long.
Within a few weeks, he is having erections seven or eight times a day, and he is suddenly aware of women. He is very unsure of himself, an intelligent, well-educated, medically qualified man, he cannot understand the physical responses in him, or the mental turmoil he is going through.
Lawrence meets with Dr. Bouloux again to discuss his feelings and the inconvenience of the perpetual erections. The doctor suggests taking a cold shower or masturbation to relieve the erection. Lawrence is not in favour of masturbating as his upbringing makes him think it is wrong. Dr Bouloux explains that 99% of men masturbate, even those who claim they do not.
It is now six months since he received the testosterone implants and Dr. Bouloux examines him and finds considerable growth in his penis and scrotum. His blood testosterone level has risen to 37.3, way above the average. Lawrence is delighted, he thinks he is now a full-grown man.
Ruby, the "Girlfriend"
Shortly after this, Lawrence is ready to tell Ruby the truth about his Kallman's Syndrome. Ruby's reaction is to take him under her wing and find him a girlfriend. She takes him shopping for clothes and after-shave, albeit he isn't actually shaving yet. But still Lawrence seems to be unable to take the plunge.
After a few weeks, Lawrence has moved out of his hospital digs and moved in with Ruby. Lawrence is much happier with the new living arrangement, but they are still, very much, "Just Good Friends".
As we leave him, Lawrence is still a virgin. He is not yet ready for sex and is worried about what his performance will be like if and when it should happen.
CREDITS: All of the above information came from the UK television's BBC series entitled "One Life"