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Lakshmi eats for first time after surgery | Dr Patil's Chat

Nov 13, 2007 11:00 AM IST India India

New Delhi: Seven days after she underwent a rare and a risky surgery, two-year-old Lakshmi is recovering fast. The girl – who was operated upon for 27 hours in Bangalore to separate her from her parasitic twin – ate solid food for the first time on Monday after regaining consciousness. She is now off the ventilator support and doctors say her vital organs are functioning normally. However, doctors say complete rehabilitation process will take some more time. Lakshmi was operated upon by a team of 36 doctors who successfully removed her from her parasitic conjoined twin last week. She was on a ventilator under observation for 72 hours before she regained consciousness. Late on Monday night, a medical bulletin released by the hospital said Lakshmi “is now able to tolerate oral semi-solid feeds. Her clinical and biochemical parameters continue to be within normal limits.” The entire family including parents Poonam and Shambu and brother Mithilesh had been spending a lot of time with her over the last couple of days and the child was responding well to this interaction. "Lakshmi is now able to tolerate oral semi-solid feeds. Her clinical and biochemical parameters continue to be within normal limits. Her invasive monitoring has been removed," it said. Lakshmi had two pairs of legs and arms formed at either end of the two adjoining torsos, thus appearing as a child with eight limbs.

bulletRevered by some in her village as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, a 2-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs is undergoing surgery to leave her with a normal body.
bulletLakshmi was born joined to a ''parasitic twin'' that stopped developing in the mother's womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped foetus.
bullet The conjoined twin stopped developing in the mother's womb, and has a torso and limbs, but no head. It was joined to Lakshmi at the pelvis.
bullet When Lakshmi was born into a poor, rural Indian family, villagers in the remote settlement of Rampur Kodar Katti in Bihar believed she was sacred. As news of her birth spread, locals waited in line for a blessing from the baby.
bullet Her parents, Shambhu and Poonam Tatma, named the girl after the Hindu goddess of wealth who has four arms. However, they were forced to keep her in hiding after they were approached by men offering money in exchange for putting their daughter in a circus.
bullet The couple, who earn just $1 a day as casual laborers, wanted her to have the operation but were unable to pay for the rare procedure, which has never before been performed in India.
bullet After Patil visited the girl in her village from Narayana Health City hospital in Bangalore, the hospital's foundation agreed to fund the $200,000 operation. Planning for the surgery took a month, Patil said, and Lakshmi spent that month in the hospital.