Mermaid syndrome is a congenital disorder. A fetus develops this disease when it is still in the mother's womb. This syndrome is quite rare and only one baby out of 80,000 babies gets this. This mermaid disease is also known as sirenomelia from the word siren, because mermaids were called as sirens in ancient times. This syndrome causes a baby to be born with his or her legs joined together like a mermaid.
A case of mermaids syndrome first appeared in 1542 and then in 1553, diagnosed by Rocheus and Palfyn respectively. More cases have been diagnosed, but the amount of these cases is not very frequent. It is sometimes also associated with another deformity known as genitourinary in which the urinary organs are deformed.
The legs and the internal organs like the kidneys and bladder are fused together. This makes it impossible for the organs to function normally. Therefore it is a very rare opportunity that a child survives because most of the babies born this way die after a day or two of their birth. Research has proved that the babies born from a diabetic mother are at a greater risk of developing this disease. However, sometimes a sirenomelic baby is born from a perfectly normal, healthy mother. This condition is more prevalent in identical twins than a single child. In the case of twins, sometimes the vascular systems do not widen completely because of the irregular supply of birth. As a consequence, the lower portion of the baies donot develops or gets fused resulting in mermaids syndrome. Vacterl-H is a less rigorous form of this disease. In the past it was impossible to operate a sirenomelic baby because of the lack of necessary equipment. But now because of the advancement of technology, many successful operations have been done. Three of the most popular cases are that of Milagros Cerron, Tiffany Yorks and Shiloh Pepin. Tiffany Yorks was born in 1988 and she was only a few months old when she had her surgery. Cerron and Pepin had their surgeries in 2004 and 2009, respectively. The surgeries were successful to an extent but Pepin died in 2009 because her kidney couldn’t function and after the second transplant she couldn’t survive. The skin between the legs is stretched out through the operation and then the vagina and bladders are formed by the surgery. Even if the surgery is successful, it all depends upon the internal organs. Sometimes, even if the operation is successful the internal organs fail to function resulting in the death of the baby.
Tips and comments
The parents of the babies who are suffering from the mermaids syndrome should not lose hope. Further experiments are being performed to find a completely reliable technique. After, the operation the child has to use crutches for a certain time or through out his life but the parents should consider themselves fortunate if the child is still alive after the surgery and is able to walk.
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