Lakshmi Tatma was born in a poverty-stricken region of Bihar region of India on a holiday devoted to the four-armed Hindu deity Vishnu. She is connected to a headless parasitic twin, and has eight limbs. However Her mother Poonam Tatma, and many other Hindus Lakshmi was “a miracle, a reincarnation” of Vishnu. She was born with four arms, four legs and extra internal organs. Lakshmi was named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth.
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 was expected to cost about £100,000 – but the hospital said it was covering the cost of the surgery. A team of 30 surgeons then prepared Lakshmi and her family for surgery to remove the headless twin, because without performing the operation, Lakshmi would not be able survive to adulthood. She is unable to walk on her deformed limbs, so she would not have much of an adolescent life either.
The surgery involves removing Lakshmi Tatma’s headless identical twin sister who was joined at the pelvis and who did not develop and separate properly in the womb ” which is an extremely rare case and occurs in fewer than one in 50,000 births.
Doctors in India were able to successfully complete the procedure and the 2-year-old Lakshmi is fine.
Mamta Patil, a doctor involved in the surgery at Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore in south India, “It went very well. She’ll be in intensive care for the next 48 hours. We expected to be in the operating theatre for 40 hours, but the surgery was over after 27.”
The headless “twin” was joined to Lakshmi at the pelvis and has its own spinal column and kidney. Doctors removed the two-year-old girl’s extra arms and legs, reconstructed her hip, removed the two extra kidneys and rewired her intestines to help her lead a normal life.
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