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In the Media

article imageTwo-headed baby born in India fails to survive

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By Kim I. Hartman
Dec 26, 2010 in World
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Tirupati - A two-headed baby boy born in India lived an hour this week, before succumbing to multiple medical problems. The boy was born at a hospital in Tirupati according to a video news report on India's TV9, showing the newborn before he passed away.
Doctors say the birth defect may be the result of twins being formed at the time of conception. Medical professionals say the second twin failed to develop and only its head completely formed in the womb, attaching itself to the shoulder of the other baby.
AOL News reports, there was a rush of people in the city of Tirupati, who made their way to the hospital to see the infant boy before he died.
In the village of Saini, about 40 miles from New Delhi, India. A baby girl was born in March 2008 with two heads, fused into one face from a condition called polycephaly. The newborn was revered as a reincarnation of the God Ganesha, half person and half elephant. News reports say locals came to the tiny village to see the baby, touch her feet, dance around her and offer her family money, according to WeirdAsia.
The baby was born with a condition known as facial duplication. The parents of the baby were not planning to seek medical intervention to correct the abnormality, reported ABC.
"At first I was a little bit afraid," Vinod Kumar Singh, the 24-year-old father of the girl who still does not have a name, told ABC News. "But then I accepted whatever God gives."
Children born with deformities are often viewed as reincarnated gods in India. Villagers worship them from birth, with many more thousands of people traveling hundreds of miles to seek the blessings of the newborn. Often the parents of these children do not accept surgeries offered to correct the birth defects and allow them to appear a little closer to 'normal', or like their peers. The see the abnormalities as a gift from the Gods and Goddesses.
Another well-known child of India, Lakshmi Tatma, was born in 2007 with four arms and four legs and was thought to be the reincarnation of the Hindu Goddess Vishnu. Lakshmi was born joined to a “parasitic twin”. Medical experts say she absorbed the underdeveloped fetus, when it failed to fully form.
Tatma's family accepted the help of charitable organizations, who offered to pay for surgery and relocate the family to place where the parents would be provided a home and jobs and where the children would be able to attend school without the eyes of the villagers and press upon them.
At two years old Lakshmi underwent surgery to remove what remained of her parasitic twins limbs. Now five-years-old, recent pictures taken of the young girl bear little resemblance to this video of the child before surgery. Today, she can be seen running and playing with other children in photograph's published in the Mail Online.
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