San Antonio, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — A fascinating new report by CNN tells the story of a young girl born two years ago in Bihar, India. This child, however, was born under extraordinary circumstances–she was born with eight limbs. Her story is a mixture of mythology, goddess worship, a leap of faith and a medical miracle.
The people of village, populated by mostly farmers, believed the child to be a goddess. “Her mother, Poonan, says she had a dream just before her daughter’s birth that she should build a temple to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and the embodiment of beauty. And when the girl was born during the Festival of Lakshmi and the new mom saw that she had eight limbs, just like the goddess Lakshmi, Poonan and others were convinced that she was the goddess incarnate,” the report describes.
The child then turned into a bit of a spectacle. When the villagers gathered to see the new baby, named Lakshmi after her namesake and some villagers even offered to purchase her for their circus.
After medical experts examined the girl, what they found was astonishing. It was revealed that Lakshmi was only one of a set of parasitic twins, a rare condition which occurs in only 3% of all kinds of conjoined children. The news of Lakshmi reached the Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore, which is one of the most advanced medical establishments in India. Dr. Sharan Pati, a skilled orthopedic surgeon, had the honor of working on the modern marvel.
Dr. Patil knew that he must set aside his religious beliefs since his intuition was that Lakshmi needed help if she was ever going to have a normal childhood. The doctor visited Lakshmi’s house to examine her and made the family an offer that they couldn’t refuse. The doctor offered to bring Lakshmi to his medical center and provide her with all the necessary tests, scans and evaluations she would need with all expenses paid. The family would only need to travel to Bangalore.
The medical experts conducted MRIs, bone scans and endoscopies to identify the functional organs and limbs. The doctor was delighted to learn that the girl had exhibited her best motor skills in her top limbs which would prove to be the most beneficial for her overall movement capabilities.
Although the doctor and his team had never done this kind of a surgery before, they were aware of the realistic possibility that Lakshmi would die by the time she reached her teens. In the mean time, her parents were struggling with the decision as to whether they should leave their goddess who was loved and revered by the entire village.
With their decision made, the six extra limbs were separated from her body after a tiresome 16 hours of surgery and began her road to recovery. Currently, Lakshmi is recovering at a charity school and still needs more rounds of medical attention to her internal organs and spine. She will need broad rehabilitation for walking because of her clubbed feet.
Wired News Reporter