Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Multitasking Denied! Doctor's Perform Surgery To Make Girl "Normal"

In Bangalore, India, a 2-year-old girl who was born with four arms and four legs left a hospital in southern India, a little more than a month after surgeons successfully removed her extra limbs. The girl, Lakshmi, is named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth, and some in her poor village in the northern state of Bihar revere her as a goddess. Doctors are working to remove the extra limbs and organs so she'll have a normal body at the end of the operation. Normal?

Lakshmi Tatma is a two-year-old girl named after the Hindu goddess of wealth who has four arms. She was believed to have been "sent from God" when she was born to a poor rural family in the Indian state of Bihar. Goddess Lakshmi means Good Luck to Hindus. The word 'Lakshmi' is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksya, meaning 'aim' or 'goal', and she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual.The importance of Lakshmi in every household makes her an essentially domestic deity. Householders worship Lakshmi for the well being and prosperity of the family. Businessmen and women also regard her equally and offer her daily prayers and I'm sure some outsourced American computer company was disappointed about her parents wishes to remove her ability to multitask and the future speed at which she could send text messages as a teenager!

The surgeon who led more than 30 doctors in the marathon surgery said Lakshmi was making good progress and should be mobile soon. "Lakshmi is fine and stable," chief surgeon Dr. Sharan Patil told The Associated Press. "She should face no problem in walking." Lakshmi was born joined at the pelvis to a "parasitic twin" that stopped developing in her mother's womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped twin.

A team of more than 30 surgeons performed a 24-hour operation on Nov. 7 at the Sparsh hospital in Bangalore, the capital of southern Karnataka state. They removed the extra limbs, transplanted a kidney from the twin and reconstructed Lakshmi's pelvic area. The hospital's foundation is paying for the operation because the girl's family could not afford the medical bills.

Many villagers, however, remain opposed to surgery and are planning to erect a temple to Lakshmi, who they still revere as sacred. Dr. Patil said "She's a very charming young girl, and I'm sure she'll grow up and be something special." The procedure has been described as "like shutting an open book or a Microsoft Vista Operating System manual." By the way, Lakshmi is in no way related to Padma Parvati Lakshmi, an Indian-American cookbook author, actress, and model who has described herself as the first well-known model from India who, by the way, is considered normal with two arms and two legs!