A baby has been born in Pakistan with six legs. Now doctors are battling the odds to save the baby boy’s life.
The newborn has a rare genetic condition meaning he is one of parasitic twins. His conjoined twin was born prematurely and incompletely developed, which resulted in the second child having the extra legs. In effect the boy has two legs and the extra four legs belong to his dead twin.
The condition is believed to afflict just one in one million babies.
A parasitic twin occurs when a twin embryo does not fully develop and they do not fully separate. One embryo continues to develop at the expense of the other (known as the parasitic). The parasitic remains undeveloped and has to rely upon the more developed twin for its blood supply and organ functions.
In some cases the body of one twin absorbs the body fo the other. In January this year a boy in Peru had his parasitic twin removed from his stomach.
The baby’s father, Imran Shaikh, has made a plea for help to save his boy’s life.
‘I can’t afford to visit Karachi and get treatment for my baby,’ said the X-ray technician, who earns the equivalent of $66-a-month. ‘I appeal to philanthropists and the government to come forward for the treatment.’
In a statement given to the AFP news wire, the provincial health department said: ‘The doctors are examining the infant to plan for necessary treatment to save the baby’s life and ensure he lives a normal life.’
Update: 19/04/11 A successful operation has been performed to remove the 4 extra legs.