Monday, 2 May 2016

Meet the baby born with deadly condition where legs fuse together in the womb (photos)

Have you ever heard of 'Mermaid syndrome'? Well, here is a chance to know about the condition. 

According to Daily Mail, a large group of people gathered at at Sahi Ram Hospital for a glimpse of the remarkable newborn. Dr Arya said the condition meant it was impossible to determine the gender of the baby. Sirenomelia, also known as 'Mermaid syndrome' is a life-threatening illness, marked by the rotation and fusion of a sufferer's legs.

The rare congenital deformity causes what looks like a single limb, resembling a fish tail, in the womb. Medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris, who has a PhD from Oxford University, previously told MailOnline the condition occurs from a failure of the normal vascular supply, when the umbilical cord fails to form two arteries.

As a result there is not sufficient blood supply reaching the foetus, she said.

The single artery 'steals' the blood and nutrition from the lower body, diverting it back up into the placenta. Suffering malnutrition, the foetus fails to develop two separate limbs.

The condition is extremely rare, affecting one in 100,000 babies, but is 100 times more likely to occur in identical twins.

Dr Fitzharris added: 'Sirenomelia is extremely fatal.

'There are no accounts of anyone with this condition surviving in the past.

'Most died within days of being born due to kidney and bladder failure.

'Even today, the odds are against those with sirenomelia, though there are a handful of examples of children living past infancy.'

In this case, the woman did not complain of any complication during her 30 week pregnancy.

However, an ultrasound during the last stages of her pregnancy revealed the baby's kidneys had not developed.

This is the fourth case of mermaid syndrome in the world but the first case reported in India.

Dr Vandana said: ‘There are several causes of this condition like excessive medicine intake, a vitamin deficiency, genetics, past history or even maternal diabetes.

'It also results from a failure of normal vascular supply from the lower aorta in uetro.

'The operation in these cases is not possible due to the improper development of the body.

'In some extreme rare cases, the kidneys can be transplanted but the survival rate is very low.'

In 1988 Tiffany Yorks underwent surgery to separate her legs before her first birthday.

She suffered some mobility problems, because of her fragile bones, and used crutches and a wheelchair to get around.

At the age of 27, she was the oldest known surviving sufferer of the condition until she passed away in February this year.

Another notable survivor of the rare disorder is a Peruvian girl, nicknamed the Little Mermaid.

In 2006 a team of eight specialists successfully carried out a second operation on the then two-year-old Milagros Cerron.

The youngster, whose first name means 'miracles' in Spanish, was born with the rare congenital disorder.

Her legs were fused from groin to ankles and her feet splayed, in the characteristic form of sirenomelia.

Most of Milagros's internal organs, including her heart and lungs, were in perfect condition.

Milagros Cerron was dubbed 'Little Mermaid' because of her rare birth defect but underwent successful surgery to separate her legs

But she was born with serious internal defects, including a deformed left kidney and a very small right kidney located very low in her body.

Her digestive, urinary tracts and genitals also shared a single tube.

In June 2005 doctors successfully performed the first in a series of risky operations to separate Milagros's lower legs, to above her knees.

The second operation was carried out to separate the remaining fused tissue, from her knees to groin.

Surgeon Luis Rubio, who led the specialists, said after the second surgery: 'There were no problems, no complications from anaesthesia or from haemorraghing. '

He said Milagros had developed the ability to stand alone without help and take small assisted steps.

In 2012 the then seven-year-old required a kidney transplant, part of surgery to reconstruct her urinary tract.

Rubio said at the time that Tiffany Yorks, was the only other person known to have undergone successful surgery to correct the rare congenital defect.

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