November 6, 2007
: (AP) A team of 13 surgeons in India has begun operating on a two-year-old girl who was born with four arms and four legs.
Lakshmi Tatama has an extremely rare condition in which her parasitic twin stopped developing after birth.
The twins are joined at the pelvis and have two pairs of arms and legs, but only Lakshmi has a head.
Her parents see her as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess but doctors say she needs the operation to survive beyond early adolescence.
Lakshmi was born to a poor family in the northern state of Bihar and was both the subject of wonder and ridicule.
That was until a Bangalore-based medical team stepped forward to perform the marathon 40 hour operation.
Dr Sharan Patil leads the team and says the operation was offered free at charge.
“I heard about this little girl in the state of Bihar who needed medical help and I did reach out and go to that small little village in the border of Nepal,” he said.
“She’s a very charming little girl, intelligent and all her normal developmental milestones are intact.”