Doctors battle to save one-in-a-million baby who was born with SIX legs
- Baby was one half of a conjoined twin who did not completely develop in the womb
- Doctors believe extra legs belong to twin brother
- Tests being done to see if experts can operate
- Parents of baby are cousins
The one-week-old boy is believed to be one of parasitic twins.
His conjoined twin was born prematurely and incompletely developed, which resulted in the second child having the extra legs, said Jamal Raza, director of the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi, to News.com.
Critical: Doctors in Pakistan are fighting to save the life of the baby boy who was born last week with six legs because of a rare genetic condition
Raza added that they were planning to operate on the boy and were considering asking for help from foreign experts with more experience in the rare disease, believed to afflict just one in one million babies.
He tried to clarify that the baby did not have six legs – he had two legs and the other four belonged to the other twin.
Medical marvel: Since Shaikh made his public plea for help, the Sindh Governor has come forward and directed officials concerned to make sure the child receives all the medical care he needs
Aid: Since the father of the baby made his public plea for help, the Sindh Governor has come forward and directed officials concerned to make sure the child receives all the medical care he needs
A parasitic twin is sometimes referred to as an asymmetrical or unequal conjoined twin.
It occurs when a twin embryo begins developing in utero, but the pair does not fully separate.
One embryo continues developing at the expense of the other (the parasitic) which will rely on the body of the other for blood supply and organ function.
It is incompletely developed and dependent on the other twin.
The independent twin is called the autosite.
In some cases the body of one twin absorbs the other during development, known as fetus in fetu.In January a boy in Peru was operated on to remove his parasitic twin from his stomach.
‘I can’t afford to visit Karachi and get treatment for my baby,’ said the X-ray technician, who earns the equivalent of $66-a-month. ‘I appeal to philanthropists and the government to come forward for the treatment.’
Shaikh and his wife of four years live in Sukkur, around 280 miles north of where his son is being cared for. His wife is reported to be recovering well from the birth and in a good state of health.
His wife - who is also his cousin - has been unable to travel because she had a caesarean section delivery.
He said they were planning on naming their son Umar Farooq.
In a statement given to the AFP news wire, the provincial health department said: 'The doctors are examining the infant to plan for necessary treatment to save the baby's life and ensure he lives a normal life.'