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Man With a Twin Living Inside Him

 
 
Reply Mon 17 Sep, 2007 01:53 pm
Man With Twin Living Inside Him -- A Medical Mystery Classic
Another Person Lived Inside a Man for Nearly Four Decades


http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/Story?id=2346476&page=2

Sanju Bhagat's stomach was once so swollen he looked nine months pregnant and could barely breathe.


Living in the city of Nagpur, India, Bhagat said he'd felt self-conscious his whole life about his big belly. But one night in June 1999, his problem erupted into something much larger than cosmetic worry.

An ambulance rushed the 36-year-old farmer to the hospital. Doctors thought he might have a giant tumor, so they decided to operate and remove the source of the bulge in his belly.

"Basically, the tumor was so big that it was pressing on his diaphragm and that's why he was very breathless," said Dr. Ajay Mehta of Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. "Because of the sheer size of the tumor, it makes it difficult [to operate]. We anticipated a lot of problems."

Mehta said that he can usually spot a tumor just after he begins an operation. But while operating on Bhagat, Mehta saw something he had never encountered. As he cut deeper into Bhagat's stomach, gallons of fluid spilled out -- and then something extraordinary happened.

"To my surprise and horror, I could shake hands with somebody inside," he said. "It was a bit shocking for me."

Removing the Mutated Body

One doctor recalled that day in the operating room.

"He just put his hand inside and he said there are a lot of bones inside," she said. "First, one limb came out, then another limb came out. Then some part of genitalia, then some part of hair, some limbs, jaws, limbs, hair."

Inside Bhagat's stomach was a strange, half-formed creature that had feet and hands that were very developed. Its fingernails were quite long.

"We were horrified. We were confused and amazed," Mehta said.

A Mutated Body Within a Body

At first glance, it may look as if Bhagat had given birth. Actually, Mehta had removed the mutated body of Bhagat's twin brother from his stomach. Bhagat, they discovered, had one of the world's most bizarre medical conditions -- fetus in fetu. It is an extremely rare abnormality that occurs when a fetus gets trapped inside its twin. The trapped fetus can survive as a parasite even past birth by forming an umbilical cordlike structure that leaches its twin's blood supply until it grows so large that it starts to harm the host, at which point doctors usually intervene.

According to Mehta, there are fewer than 90 cases of fetus in fetu recorded in medical literature. Fetus in fetu happens very early in a twin pregnancy, when one fetus wraps around and envelops the other. The dominant fetus grows, while the fetus that would have been its twin lives on throughout the pregnancy, feeding off its host twin like a kind of parasite. Usually, both twins die before birth from the strain of sharing a placenta.

Sometimes, however, as in Bhagat's case, the host twin survives and is delivered. What makes his case so unusual is that no one suspected Bhagat had a twin inside him for 36 years.

Bhagat said he was very much relieved after his operation. He was not interested in knowing what Mehta did to him or seeing what he had removed from his abdomen.

"He didn't want to see it because it was looking very ghastly," Mehta said.

Avoiding the Gory Details

There was no placenta inside Bhagat -- the enveloped parasitic twin had connected directly to Bhagat's blood supply. Right after the surgery, Bhagat's pain and inability to breathe disappeared and he recovered immediately.

The case may have been a medical miracle to doctors, but to Bhagat his condition had been a source of shame and misery. All his life, people in the village where he lived had mercilessly teased him and told him he looked pregnant. Ironically, they were right in a way.

Today Bhagat is in good health and leads a normal life, but he still gets teased occasionally.

"They still ridicule him. What they say is, you went for an operation and you had the baby," Mehta said. http://a.abcnews.com/images/Nightline/abc_kumar_060824_ms.jpg
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,842 • Replies: 15
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Sep, 2007 02:03 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMZnXfw5zE0

This video shows the fetus after the surgery...so if such things make you queasy, don't click on the link.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Sep, 2007 02:17 pm
Ewwww! I've heard that this can happen but I didn't think it was possible for an infant to survive it. I guess there are a few that can.
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Sep, 2007 02:21 pm
That...is...AWESOME!
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Sep, 2007 02:21 pm
yeah, they say there are 80 or 90 recorded cases.

ugh.
0 Replies
 
helmi15
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 07:23 am
I am not gonna watch the movie. The picture looks horrible enough.

I wonder about this a bit. What did the man think, why his belly is so swollen. What did he suppose inside himself?
His belly didn't feel soft like fat, I assume.
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 12:14 pm
couldn't help myself
"well listen up sonny jim! I ATE A BABY!"
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 12:40 pm
it seems they thought it was a tumor. The guy was a peasant, in rural India, and had no pain or obstacles until he started having difficulties breathing. So he probably didn't spend much time cracking his brain about it until it became a problem. But who knows what he thought...he doesn't seem interested in becoming a celebrity...went right back to his life and didn't even want to know what they pulled out of him. Just wanted his previous life back the way it was, sans the breathing problems. So there are not many interviews with him.
0 Replies
 
OJ
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 03:48 pm
That's what my uncle Mario looks like. Except he isn't pregnant.
0 Replies
 
helmi15
 
  1  
Reply Tue 18 Sep, 2007 04:03 pm
I think that shows how poor people are their. Their health care must be so low, I don't want to imagine.

In a western country they would have seen the parasit in child age at a routine check.
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Sep, 2007 06:15 pm
i think you have to qualify "western country." in the states, he would have gone to a free clinic which misdiagnosed the problem, that was discouraged by insurance companies from performing any tests to confirm the diagnosis.

after finding the pertinent information from webmd.com, he would have tried to find a place to perform the operation, and ended up with a bill that forced him to mortgage and subsequently lose his home. regarding england or canada on the other hand, you may be right.
0 Replies
 
helmi15
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 12:45 pm
If someone does not have the money for such an operation, they would really leave the parasit in his or her body????

I heard about the situation in the USA; there is no public medical system I guess or at least it is not as good developed as for example in Canada or Europe.

But if a person is going to die, doctors have to rescue his/her life. This shouldn't be a question of money or social status.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 01:48 pm
It is illegal for a public hospital to refuse treatment to anyone in need here in the United States. And they have to treat even if it is not a life threatening situation (see Civil Rights act of 1964 section VI) That also means intensive care, surgeries, shots - whatever. And it depends on the Dr. you get as to how well you are treated and how thorough they are. The same applies in other countries as well I'm sure. Had this man lived in the United States and been taken by ambulance - since it was a medical emergency, to a public hospital - then he would have been treated and more than likely they would have found the problem after x-rays. He was struggling with his breathing and they would have checked his distended abdomen to find out why.

Saying that the indigent here can't get care is a gross misstatement of fact. They may have to wait - but so do people in Europe. They may get a Dr that is strictly trying to meet his requirements - same thing anywhere in the world. The fact is that we in the United States are blessed. We just don't always know it. We have more than most people in the world and whine more about what we don't have than most other people in the world.

Our system is not perfect - but what is? I just get so tired of hearing folks slam this country.

This is a most bizarre occurence though...I have heard of twins becoming parasitic but have never seen it...unbelievable, and a little unsettling.
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 07:18 pm
yes thank you mismi- no one said he wouldn't be able to get treatment, we both said the contrary.

what i said is that he would get the treatment, but it could still ruin him. that happens all the time here. i'm glad you're blessed. personally, my situation regarding insurance is that every doctor i see is also a proctologist Wink

i avoid them, for better or for worse, to make other expenditures a priority. lots of blessed people in this country do the same, so they don't have to move out of their houses and in with their parents (or their children.)

but you're right, some people are worse off then we are. and i suppose we should be "grateful," but personally, i'm not blessed or grateful to the point of delusion, and i forgive myself that.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 07:41 pm
It seems we are both making generalizations...I did mean as a whole our country has much to be thankful for. I do understand that there are those who struggle mightily with making ends meet and end up having to do things they would rather not.

I just meant the United States as a whole is very well off compared to other countries - the ones who have much here complain instead of being thankful. I am sorry you fall into that place of struggle - we too have a hard time with medical bills since we have a child who was born with club feet and is still struggling to this day with surgeries and Dr's visits. But he walks and runs and we are very blessed. Even though we will probably have bills for years to come.

My main purpose for posting was to clarify for helmi15 that the public hospitals here cannot turn down someone for medical help...We do have something in place to help those who do not have Medicaid or ways to be able to pay a dr. And I am very sure if someone like this man with the parasitic twin went to a public hospital here that he would be treated and the twin removed.
0 Replies
 
tinygiraffe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 07:48 pm
and you're right on every count there, but with regards to health there are more than 30 countries that are "more blessed" than we are, and rather than just "complain" about it, i'd like to see people not shrug it off and instead ask how we can rise above the top thirty-something. surely, we're doing something we could do a lot better.

gratitude is a splendid thing, but it's not the end of the road unless you make it one.
0 Replies
 
 

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