Pakistan Baby born with six legs fights for life

Channels Television  
Updated April 18, 2012

A baby born with six legs due to a rare genetic condition, is struggling to survive at a Pakistani hospital, as doctors search for surgical options that would allow him to live a normal life.

Doctors at the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi say the infant had a parasitic twin, which resulted in the extra limbs, a condition that  affects one in one million babies. According to Dr. Jamal Raza, director of the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi, the baby did not have six legs – he only had two legs while the other four belonged to his twin.

‘Operating on such a baby is not an easy task as proper assessments need to be done first,’ he said. ‘We need to figure out whether the baby has his twin’s limbs or his own. We also need to consider how much the internal organs have developed as the latter could complicate matters and decrease the baby’s chances of surviving.’ Raza said

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.

Meanwhile, the boy’s father, an X-ray technician, Imran Shaikh, is appealing to the Pakistani government and charities to help pay for his son’s surgery. ”I can’t afford to visit Karachi and get treatment for my baby…I only earn $66-a-month…I appeal to philanthropists and the government to come forward for the treatment.”