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Lakshmi, the miracle girl, features on TV now

November 07, 2008 14:44 IST
Last Updated: November 07, 2008 14:56 IST

Lakshmi Tatma, born exactly a year ago as a medical anomaly with four hands and feet in a remote town of Bihar, now stands, talks, runs and giggles like any other toddler her age.

The story of Lakshmi's birth, her parent's dilemma, the reactions of global media and local villagers who regarded her as the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi because she was born on Diwali day, and the complicated surgery she underwent to remove the extra pair of limbs is scheduled to be telecast on Discovery Channel tomorrow, November 9.

Lakshmi was born a parasitic twin with two bodies united at the pelvis. Only one of the twins had a head. Two pairs of arms and legs had formed at either end of the two adjoining torsos, creating a child with eight limbs.

                                             Special: The walk of life

After exactly a year Sharan Patil the doctor who led the operating team says, "Everything is fine now. It has been a mathematically perfect operation. There have been no setbacks yet and Lakshmi has begun to walk independently. All investigations and from all points of view she has been found to be functioning normally."

A team from Discovery accompanied Patil right from the beginning when the doctor, who is chief orthopedic surgeon at Sparsh Hospital, Bangalore heard about the case and offered his services for free. It  filmed almost everything including the 27-hour-long operation that was attempted for the first time in India.

"Cases like Lakshmi are extremely rare.  Medical literature point out that there have been 3 or 4 cases like her, two in the US and one in Europe which were successfully operated and one case in London [Images] over 20 years ago where the lady survived and went on to live a near normal life. Of course there are many attempts that do not get published," says Patil. 

The show captures the complications that took place during the surgery, as Lakshmi's extra limbs belonged to a half-formed conjoined twin with no head or other internal organs but only a kidney.  She had a heart, lungs and liver, but only one kidney. Lakshmi's spine was directly connected to the twin's and her pelvis had to be reconstructed before the twin could be removed.

Prior to the surgery, Lakshmi was unable to walk or  crawl and had little chance living past adolescence. Now she can stand with help and is expected to be able to walk and lead a normal life.

"It is certainly an overwhelming experience to relive the entire process. The filmmakers had accompanied us from our initial visits to Bihar, following us closely. The film accurately portrays all the emotions, the dilemmas of family members, the villagers  and the surgical team has been captured in full and it reflects all the moods clearly," says Patil.

ALSO READ: My daughter was born all over again  


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