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China's First "Mermaid Baby" Dies
Latest Updated by 2006-12-18 15:06:56

China's first "mermaid baby" is under treatment in a hospital in Hunan Province. [File Photo:]


China's first "mermaid baby" died of heart failure at 8 p.m. on Sunday in the Hunan Provincial Children's Hospital in central China, hospital sources said on Monday.


The condition of the "mermaid boy" had been deteriorating, said Xu Zhiyue, head of the intensive care department of the Hunan Provincial Children's Hospital, based in the provincial capital Changsha.


The baby, born with a rare congenital defect known as sirenomelia, or "mermaid syndrome", survived 38 days in the intensive care unit.


"Mermaid" syndrome is almost always fatal within days of birth due to serious defects in vital organs and complications associated with abnormal kidney and bladder development.


The baby was abandoned in front of the hospital gate and admitted on Nov. 12. A note found inside the baby's clothes said only that the baby was born on Nov. 9.


The baby's legs were joined together from thigh to heel. He also had no kidneys or urinary tract, and his heart did not function properly. His anus and genitals were underdeveloped, and his intestines obstructed.


Dialysis was used to keep the baby alive.


The baby's heart finally stopped on Sunday.


There are only two known cases in the world of children who survived the affliction. Tiffany Yorks, a 17-year-old American had her legs successfully separated when she was a baby, and two-year-old Milagros Cerron, from Peru had her legs surgically separated last year.


Editor: Wing 

By: Source:China View website
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