Mermaid Baby


National Team Player
Oct 27, 2002
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'Mermaid Baby' Defies Odds Say Docs

Dr Luis Rubio holds Milagros Cerron shortly after her birth in May 2004

A 'mermaid baby' born with her legs fused together has defied the odds to pull through a gruelling corrective operation.

But surgeons warn that it is only the first of many procedures which will be required to help little Milagros Cerron have any chance of a normal life.

Nine-month-old Milagros became known as the 'Mermaid Baby' because of her rare birth defect, which gives her legs the appearance of a fish tail.

Peruvian surgeon Dr Luis Rubio said his team inserted three silicone bags into the tight coating of skin around Milagros' legs this week.

The bags at the baby's ankles, knees and thighs will be filled with saline solution every three days to stretch the skin.

Dr Rubio said the baby would be ready for the complicated surgery to separate her legs in 40 to 45 days.

Milagros was born with a rare congenital defect known as sirenomelia, or Mermaid Syndrome', which occurs in one out of every 70,000 births. There are only three known cases of children with the affliction alive in the world today.

The deformity is almost always fatal within days of birth because of complications arising from serious defects to the vital organs.

But Milagros - whose name means ''miracles'' in Spanish - has a healthy heart and lungs and fared well during the initial operation, doctors said.

"The child went through nearly three and a half hours of general anaesthesia to place these skin expanders,'' Dr Rubio said, adding that the operation was a good indicator of how Milagros would withstand the more difficult surgery ahead.

”The little girl's vital signs were optimum throughout.''

Yesterday, Dr Rubio said Milagros would be placed in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to improve the circulation of blood to her skin and the fat in her legs where doctors plan to operate.

Although most of Milagros' internal organs are in perfect condition, she was born with serious internal defects, including a deformed left kidney and a very small right kidney located very low in her body.

In addition, her digestive and urinary tracts and her genitals share a single tube.

Sirenomelia is usually fatal because of complications associated with abnormal kidney and bladder development and function.