Monday, September 28, 2009

Girl Born With Mermaid Syndrome - AOL Health

Girl Born With Mermaid Syndrome - AOL Health:

10-Year-Old Girl Born With Legs Fused Together

By Mary Beth Sammons

Shortly after her birth, Shiloh Pepin was given 72 hours to live.

Now 10-years-old, Shiloh has made beating the odds and baffling the medical community a way of life. Born with a rare birth defect called sirenomelia, also known as mermaid syndrome, she is one of less than a handful of children known in the world known to be living with this usually fatal disorder.

“Sirenomelia is a congenital birth defect in which infants are born with a single lower extremity or with their legs fused together, giving the appearance of a mermaid,” says Warren G. Sanger, Ph.D., FACMG, Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, and Director of the Human Genetics Laboratory and Clinical Genetics, at the Munroe-Meyer Institute. There also are severe abnormalities of the bladder and kidney.

Watch a clip from Shiloh Pepin's documentary. Story continues below video.

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