Saturday, April 21, 2007

Peru's 'Miracle Baby' Walks on Her Own

From -- With all the tragedy that's been going on over the last week, this is a refreshing story about a little girl who's been given a new outlook on life...

"Peru's ''miracle baby'' walked around her nursery school yard Friday, ducking in and out of a plastic playhouse seven months after undergoing an operation to fully separate her fused legs.

Milagros Cerron, whose first name means ''miracles'' in Spanish, was born with a rare congenital defect known as sirenomelia, or ''mermaid syndrome,'' which left her legs connected from her heels to her groin.

Dr. Luis Rubio, head of the medical team that separated Milagros' legs, invited reporters to see her progress on Friday. He said doctors have successfully reconstructed the child's hips, knees and ankles and that she is ''doing well physically.''

But Rubio said Milagros _ who is called ''the little mermaid'' by Peruvians _ will need another operation in about two years to reconstruct and repair her urinary and sexual organs.

''We've gotten past the first stage, but it's not the last,'' Rubio said. ''There's a long way to go.''

Milagros, who turns 3 years old next week, now takes ballet classes and runs around the playground with her classmates.

In June 2005 doctors successfully performed risky surgery to separate her legs to above her knees. The operation seven months ago was to separate the remaining four inches of fused tissue just below the groin.

Rubio has said Tiffany Yorks, a 17-year-old American, is the only other person known to have undergone successful surgery to correct the rare congenital defect, which occurs in one out of every 70,000 births and is almost always fatal within days of birth.

Milagros' family comes from a poor village in the Andes mountains but Lima's municipal government has agreed to pay for her medical care."

Good luck today. Make it a great one!


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