- Doctors have successfully removed a parasitic twin from an Ivorian baby girl
- The parasitic twin failed to develop in the mother's womb and attached itself onto the body of the baby
- Before the operation, the baby had four legs
Doctors at the Chicago's Advocate Children's Hospital have successfully removed a parasitic twin from a 10-month-old Ivorian baby girl in a risky operation.
The baby, Dominique, was born with four legs and two spines as a result of her parasitic twin failing to develop properly in their mother's womb and attaching itself on Dominique's body.
Dominique is now recovering well with a foster family in Chicago who heard about her plight through Facebook. The family will look after her until she is well enough to return to Ivory Coast.
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John Ruge, one of the pediatric neurosurgeons who operated on Dominique, said that the fact that the twins were conjoined at the spine made Domonique's case rare and unique.
He added: "It also made the separation surgery complex. But it was crucial to give this beautiful baby girl the chance to live a long and normal life."
Ruge also said they performed the operation with a huge risk of damaging Dominique's spine and causing her paralysis for life.
However, he said the operation was necessary because as Domonique grew, the strain on her lungs, heart and other internal organs that would have had to support the extra limbs would have been detrimental to her.
Nancy Swabb, a member of the foster family looking after Dominique as she recovers, said: "She's been a joy. We really enjoyed having her in our family."
She added that they are in constant touch with Dominique's family back in Ivory Coast and send them updates on her progress, including pictures.
Here is a video report of the risky surgery and Dominique's recovery.