Health

Doctors Struggle To Help 'Mermaid Baby' Have A Normal Life

Nicknamed the Little Mermaid, this little girl is nothing short of a miracle.

In 2004, Milagros Cerron was born with her legs fused from the groin to ankles and her feet splayed, looking like a mermaid at first glance.  

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

The lower area of her body had serious internal defects including a deformed left kidney and a very small right kidney.

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

In June 2005, doctors successfully performed the first in a series of high-risk operations to separate her lower legs above her knees.

In 2006 when she was just 2-years-old a team of 8 doctors successfully carried out a second operation that separated the remaining fused tissue from her knees to her groin.

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

After the second surgery she had developed the ability to stand alone without help and take small assisted steps.

In 2008, Milagros walked to her first day of kindergarten and everyone couldn't be prouder.

Acid Cow

"We never thought she would go to school," said Dr. Luis Rubio, one of the surgeons who have cared for her since infancy. "Normally babies like her die within 72 hours of birth."

Milagros is thought to be only 1 of just 3 survivors of the disorder in the world at the time.

In 2012 the then 7-year-old needed a kidney transplant, part of the surgery required to reconstruct her urinary tract.

After years of surgery and therapy, Milagros is finally walking like a normal child and doing well. She may require 3 or 4 more surgeries to correct her bowing feet and sexual organs, but these need to wait until she is at least 18 years old.

"She's a very happy child who likes to play with her friends," said Ricardo Cerron, her father.

In 1988 Tiffany Yorks underwent surgery to separate her legs before her first birthday. Due to fragile bones she used crutches and a wheelchair to get around. At the age of 27, she was the oldest known survivor suffering from this condition until she passed away in February of last year.

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