The incarnation of an eight-limbed goddess and a medical marvel.

Lakshmi's X-ray on the left and Lakshmi before her surgery in 2007.

Lakshmi’s X-ray on the left and Lakshmi before her surgery in 2007.

In October of 2005 a baby girl was born with 4 arms, 4 legs, and 2 torsos in a remote region of India called Bihar. She was named after the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi, because of her resemblance to the deity.

People came from all over the region to get blessings from the baby girl they believed was an incarnation of a goddess. However, Lakshmi’s parents wanted to give her a normal, healthy life, so they sought medical help. But none of the local doctors could offer any assistance because her medical condition is extremely rare and complex.

Skeleton of ischiopagus twins on display the Warren Anatomical Museum.  Photo via Curious Expeditions Flickr.

Skeleton of ischiopagus twins on display the Warren Anatomical Museum in Boston. Photo via Curious Expeditions Flickr.

Lakshmi Tatma was diagnosed with a condition called ischiopagi, the medical term for conjoined twins joined at the pelvis; ischio is Greek for hip, relating to the ischium, and pagus meaning fixed or united.  In Lakshmi’s case the twin was parasitic. Conjoined twins is one of the rarest congenital anomalies because they only happen in 1:50,000-1:200,000 births.   The frequency of ischiopagus conjoined twinning is even more rare, representing only 6% of all conjoined twins.  

In parasitic ischiopagus, the dead twin has to be surgically separated from the healthy twin. This is a complicated procedure because twins joined at the hips usually share a gastrointestinal tract and genitals, and reconstructive surgery after the separation is often necessary.

Luckily word of Lakshmi’s condition spread to an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Sharan Patil at a renowned facility in Banglore, Sparsh Hospital. After Patil traveled to Bihar and examined Lakshmi, he offered to cover all of the medical expenses if her family brought her to Sparsh Hospital.

In November of 2007 Lakshmi under went a grueling 27-hour surgery that took 30 surgeons working in 8-hour shifts. The medical team separated Lakshmi’s vertebral column and kidney from the parasitic twin, and started the process of closing her hips and corrected the position of her bladder and genitals.

As of 2010, news agencies reported that Lakshmi needed additional surgeries to continue the process of closing her hips, correct a curve in her spine (scoliosis), and to fix problems with her bladder. Despite all of the health problems she has had to overcome in her young life, Lakshmi is a happy and healthy little girl who is thriving.

Lakshmi pictured in 2010, about three years after her surgery.

Lakshmi pictured in 2010, about three years after her surgery. Photo via MailOnline Click here to see more pics.

Sources:

(2014 January 9). Pictured: The little girl who had eight limbs and was worshipped as a deity starts school. MailOnline. Retrieved on January 26, 2014 from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1246431/Lakshmi-Tatma-The-little-girl-limbs-worshipped-deity-starts-school.html

Burkholder, Amy. (2008 June 20). 8-limbed ‘goddess’ baby becoming normal little girl. CNN. Retrieved on January 26, 2014 from: http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/06/19/eight.limbed.girl/index.html?_s=PM:HEALTH

Khan, Y. (2011).  Ischiopagus Tripus Conjoined Twins. APSP J Case Rep. 2011 Jan-Apr; 2(1): 5. Retrieved on January 26, 2014 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3418005/

Relph, Sam and Foster, Peter. (2007 November 5). Twin girl with eight limbs to have surgery. The Telegraph. Retrieved on January 26, 2014 from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1568406/Twin-girl-with-eight-limbs-to-have-surgery.html

Similar:

Mommies having mummies

Stylish deformities: The ways that fashion has flattened, bent, and broken bones.

The lost remains of the Pedro Mountain Mummy



Categories: News

Tags:

3 replies

  1. She was lucky to be born in India, where she was seen as a miracle and a gift to the world, compared to how most other countries would react!

  2. Amazing what the medical profession can do today. If this had happened a few years back …

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: