09 November 2007

8-limb girl awake, recovering

Reports say the Indian toddler, Lakshmi Tatma, who underwent surgery to remove the extra limbs from her body, has regained consciousness and is doing well.

Two-year-old Indian girl Lakshmi Tatma, who underwent a complicated surgery to remove the extra limbs from her body, has regained consciousness in what comes as a big relief for her parents, news reports and officials said on Friday.

"She is awake and is moving her arms and legs. She also smiled when she saw her mother," said Dr Y John, director of medical services at the Sparsh Hospital in the southern city of Bangalore.

The team of 30 doctors which on Wednesday concluded a 27-hour long breakthrough surgery on the girl born with two pairs of arms and legs, allowed her parents to meet her on Thursday night.

The doctors plan to slowly take Lakshmi off the ventilator in the coming days.

Stable, but being monitored
They said that the toddler had shown signs of steady recovery on Thursday; she moved her toes and hands and opened her eyes briefly.

"She is doing well and all her essential parameters are stable, but she is still in the intensive care unit and her condition is being constantly monitored," said Mamatha Patil, coodinator for Sparsh Foundation, a charitable trust attached to the hospital.

Lakshmi has a very rare condition called ischiopagus, which occurs in less than two per cent of conjoined twins and develops when the twin embryo stops developing in the mother's womb, and one foetus develops at the expense of the other.

She was born with a parasitic twin - she had one head but an extra pair of arms and legs joined to her torso that made it impossible for her to stand or walk.

Named after a goddess
The child was named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth by her parents, Shambhu and Poonam, who both go by one name and come from the northern state of Bihar bordering Nepal.

Lakshmi was revered in her village, her extra limbs being considered miraculous, as an incarnation of the goddess.

Her parents had initially taken Lakshmi to a hospital in New Delhi, but were forced to abandon their plans when they were approached by circus owners who wanted to buy Lakshmi.

Shambhu and his wife were praying for the quick recovery of their daughter who got a new lease of life, which also happens to be Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, when Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped.

"We all are praying that she gets well soon. We are happy to have got the operation done since the surgery was necessary for her future," Shambhu told reporters. – (Sapa)

Read more:
8-limb girl faces epic op


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