A baby boy bearing two heads has been born in India and has been described as a ‘miracle’ by doctors.
The baby boy was born on Monday morning local time to his 20-year-old mother at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, in Ajmer, Rajasthan, in northern India, and weighed about 2.5 kilograms (5lbs 7oz).
Dr Jaiprakash Narayan, an assistant professor of the paediatric medicine department, said everyone who heard about the miracle birth wanted to catch a glimpse of the remarkable baby.
‘A baby boy with two heads was born yesterday in a healthy state,’ he said.
‘It was the couple’s first child, which probably explains why they didn’t see a doctor during the pregnancy and take extra precautions.
‘The mother completed her pregnancy full-term and was doing well post surgery but the baby suffered breathing issues.’
Dr Jaiprakash weighed up whether to operate on the newborn but eventually thought it was too difficult.
‘The operation is possible in some cases of conjoined twins but here it was nearly impossible,’ he said.
‘Despite having two pairs of all of their internal organs they were all trapped in one body, with only one pair of arms and legs. You cannot separate such children.’
The baby was kept in the intensive care unit.
But the baby’s mother and 24-year-old father decided to leave and take their son home despite the risks and warnings from hospital staff.
The baby died 32 hours after his birth.
His parents are struggling to come to terms with their loss and have been turning to family members for support.
A recent study found two in 100 babies born in India had birth defects, according to The Indian Express.
‘We have been able to identify that 2.2 per cent of babies in India are born with congenital anomaly,’ University of Pune’s Dr Anita Kar, from the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, said.
‘In absolute numbers, this translates into nearly [600,000] babies being born each year with congenital anomaly, with heart defects being the most prevalent condition.’