Sunday, April 22, 2007

In the news....

So here are a couple news stories I thought were really good/cute/yay!

Peru's 'miracle baby' walks on her own

Fri Apr 20, 10:13 PM ET

Peru's "miracle baby" walked around her nursery school yard Friday, ducking in and out of a plastic playhouse seven months after undergoing an operation to fully separate her fused legs.

Milagros Cerron, whose first name means "miracles" in Spanish, was born with a rare congenital defect known as sirenomelia, or "mermaid syndrome," which left her legs connected from her heels to her groin.

Dr. Luis Rubio, head of the medical team that separated Milagros' legs, invited reporters to see her progress on Friday. He said doctors have successfully reconstructed the child's hips, knees and ankles and that she is "doing well physically."

But Rubio said Milagros — who is called "the little mermaid" by Peruvians — will need another operation in about two years to reconstruct and repair her urinary and sexual organs.

"We've gotten past the first stage, but it's not the last," Rubio said. "There's a long way to go."

Milagros, who turns 3 years old next week, now takes ballet classes and runs around the playground with her classmates.

In June 2005 doctors successfully performed risky surgery to separate her legs to above her knees. The operation seven months ago was to separate the remaining four inches of fused tissue just below the groin.

Rubio has said Tiffany Yorks, a 17-year-old American, is the only other person known to have undergone successful surgery to correct the rare congenital defect, which occurs in one out of every 70,000 births and is almost always fatal within days of birth.

Milagros' family comes from a poor village in the Andes mountains but Lima's municipal government has agreed to pay for her medical care.

How amazing is it that these doctors have given this beautiful little girl the ability to walk! I think it is just amazing. Plus the little girl is SUPER cute. Gosh I'm a sucker for kids. Love them!

Parents of conjoined twins await surgery

By THOMAS J. SHEERAN, Associated Press WriterFri Apr 20, 4:45 PM ET

The parents of 3-year-old conjoined twins said Friday that they are worried but hopeful as they await high-risk surgery to separate their daughters.

"It's kind of an anxious time," the Rev. Alin Dogaru said in an interview with The Associated Press while sitting hand-in-hand with his wife, Claudia. "Of course we are concerned about their health," he said.

A team of up to 50 doctors and nurses will separate the 3-year-old girls in four stages over several weeks at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland. The surgeries are tentatively scheduled for late May.

Before the interview, Claudia Dogaru gently lifted up the girls — Anastasia in a blue dress was held in her mother's left arm and Tatiana with a pink dress in her mother's right arm — and placed them in a two-seat stroller.

The top of Tatiana's head is attached to the back of Anastasia's. Twins born joined at the head — called craniopagus twins — are extremely rare, occurring in about 1 in 2.5 million births.

Claudia Dogaru said she was facing the future with prayer.

"I will face every day at a time. I will pray," she said. "I cannot say what's going to happen tomorrow."

The twins, who were born in Rome, arrived in Cleveland several weeks ago after 2 1/2 years in Dallas.

Among the surgical risks are the possibility of brain damage, stroke or a fatal amount of blood loss.

Anastasia, the larger twin, also requires a kidney transplant; she has no kidney function and relies on Tatiana's kidneys.


On the Net:

World Craniofacial Foundation:

Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital:

I think the story of these twin girls is really neat. I saw a thing about them somewhere on TV, and it was about them while they were still in Dallas. The thing that hit me most was when their mother was talking about how nice the public in Dallas was to them. They had a scene at the grocery store where the manager asked if he could bring the girls balloons, and all these people coming up to them letting them know the girls and their family were in their prayers. It was all just so sweet, especially the mother's reaction to all the people. When it really hit me was when the twin's mother was saying how nice it was that the people in Texas were so nice, because when they left Italy (I think that is where they were), the girls were beginning to be ridiculed and pointed out by adults. ADULTS!!! Don't they know better?!?! How cruel can anyone be to make fun of two little girls who are conjoined at the head, with no fault of their own!! It was just terrible to hear, and it made me really happy that this family's first U.S. experience was with some good ol' Southern hospitality.

Anyways, I have a biochem test coming up so we'll see how this all goes. Gosh the senioritis is terrible.

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