A girl born with the rare ‘Mermaid Syndrome’ condition where the lower limbs are fused together has sadly died aged 15 after waiting for a kidney transplant that never came.
Milagros Cerron was born in a small village in the Peruvian Andes in 2004 with the rare congenital disease known as Sirenomelia, also called Mermaid Syndrome, which often kills sufferers within the first hours of birth.
Video Credit: CEN/Municipalidad Lima
Reports said the condition occurs when the umbilical cord fails to form two arteries, leaving only enough blood supply for one limb.
Mermaid Syndrome is extremely rare, affecting one in 100,000 newborns, and there have only been a few reported cases of sufferers living into their teenage years.
The girl’s father told local media that Milagros was suffering from chronic kidney problems towards the end of her life and was receiving treatment in Chupaca Province in the central Peruvian region of Junin for her one remaining kidney.
Local media said the teenager died in hospital of a brain haemorrhage caused by the kidney problem.
Her father said: “I will always remember her as a very smart girl who was joyful and smiled a lot. She is a little angel to me.”
In 2005, her parents asked the Peruvian authorities to help with a complicated procedure to separate her legs that were joined from the heel to the groin and rebuild her urinary system.
A team of 11 doctors in the Peruvian capital Lima carried out the operation, led by surgeon Luis Rubio.
Upon hearing of Milagro’s recent death, the doctor said he has a “wounded heart” and that she was born to give “love, hope and bundles of courage”.
Doctor Rubio added: “Children with this rare condition are usually stillborn or only survive the first 24 hours. With Milagros, we managed to give her 15 years of life.”
During her life, Milagros underwent 11 different operations to help her successfully walk although she always had problems with her one remaining kidney.
Reports said that she was waiting for a kidney transplant before her death.
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