A 2-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs is recovering after the complex operation for the removal of the extra limbs.
As the euphoria wore off from successfully completing the complex operation in which a team of more than 30 surgeons removed the limbs and reconstructed much of her lower body and internal systems doctors warned that care must be taken to ensure no complications set in.
"We are still not ready to celebrate as she will be in the critical zone for the next 48 to 72 hours," said Dr. Sharan Patil, who led the team at a hospital in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.
Lakshmi, who has been revered by some in her village as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, was born joined at the pelvis to a "parasitic twin" that stopped developing in her mother's womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus.
Doctors and the girl's parents hope the girl will be able to learn to walk. "This girl can now lead as good a life as anyone else," Patil said.
Her father, a laborer from rural northern India, and her mother, who is pregnant again with a healthy fetus, were allowed into the intensive care unit where Lakshmi lay sedated several hours after the surgery, said hospital spokeswoman Dr. Patil Mamatha.
"It will be great to see our daughter have a normal body," her father Shambhu, who only goes by one name, told reporters.
Children born with deformities in deeply traditional parts of rural India are often viewed as reincarnated gods. Lakshmi is named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth.
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