Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Goddess Girl" Survives Rare Surgery

I saw this story over a week ago, but I determined not to write anything it until I had some information on the outcome of the surgery. The story has now been well-publicized, including the bid by a "circus" to buy the child, no doubt for it's "Freak Show." I had no idea such a condition could occur. The way I explain it is rather similar to a "Siamese twin," except the twin didn't survive, only parts of the twin survived, somehow attached to and living on the other twin's body. My goddess. Lakhsmi, about 2 1/2 years old, has survived the 30-plus hour surgery to remove two extra arms and two extra legs, along with reconstructive surgery around her pelvic area (because of the way the extra legs were attached to her torso, and she will need further surgery as she grows to correct "club feet." It is amazing to me that she will be able to walk at all, actually). In her poor village, where most of the folks cannot read or write and the old ways and superstitions still rule supreme, when she was born (a miracle she and her mother survived the birth process, given the extra limbs on the baby and her size) Lakhsmi was hailed as an incarnation of the Goddess of Good Fortune. Now I wonder, what will the villagers think? Will they turn against her as an omen of ill-fortune because her extra limbs have been removed? Ridiculous, you may think - but is my fear really riduculous? What if an epidemic comes along and kills several of the villagers because of unsanitary conditions? You and I will know it was because of unsanitary conditions, but they won't. Will they try to kill the child, perhaps, because the surgery somehow violated the child's karma? Just what will happen to Lakhsmi? Will doctors step forward in the future to do the necessary reconstructive surgery she will need, free of charge? Will anyone step in and remove Lakhsmi and her family from their village? Will anyone bother to try and start the process of bringing Lakhsmi's village into the 21st century, teaching the residents to read, and write, and reason based on something other than beliefs that, unfortunately, have been distorted (and sometimes deliberately perverted) over the centuries? I wonder just how much of Lakhsmi's story we will ever really hear of in the future. She's now yesterday's news.

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