Nov 6, 2007

Baby with 8 limbs to undergo life saving operation

A toddler born with eight limbs is set to undergo a 40-hour operation to remove half of her limbs. Many people believe her to be the reincarnation of the multi-limbed Hindu god Vishnu, as she was born on the day devoted to the celebration of god Vishnu.

Lakshmi Tatma was born joined to a 'parasitic twin'. The headless 'twin' is joined to Lakshmi at the pelvis and has its own spinal column and kidney. Now 30 surgeons will try to remove two of her useless arms and legs. Without the operation the little girl would never be able to walk or crawl and would be unlikely to live past her early teens, doctors said.

Dr Sharan Patil, who will be leading the surgery at the country's Narayana Health City, in Bangalore, said: "Fortunately, Lakshmi has one complete body with a near perfect set of organs. The operation itself, although presents several challenges, is not the most complex in the world. What is highly unusual in Lakshmi's case is precisely how her bodies are fused, almost mirroring each other."

The extraordinary eight-limbed baby was born in a poverty-stricken region of Bihar, India. Her parents Poonam Devi and Shambu Das, who earn about 50p a day as casual labourers, were turned away from several hospitals before her plight was taken up by Dr Patil. The operation is expected to cost about £100,000. Link


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