Source AP ©

Indian girl recovers consciousness after extra limbs removal

An Indian girl born with excess limbs regained consciousness after surgery, smiling at her parents, looking confusedly at her legs and wondering where the rest of her body had disappeared.

The 2-year-old Lakshmi, who has been revered by some in her village as a reincarnation of the four-armed Hindu goddess she was named for, was taken off a respirator Friday afternoon and allowed to spend some time with her parents.

"It was an emotional meeting between Lakshmi and her parents," chief surgeon Dr. Sharan Patil told reporters.

Lakshmi was alert and responded to her parents, even crying out to go with them, he said.

However, she seemed quite confused by her ordeal.

"Lakshmi appeared very perplexed and kept staring at her legs, wondering where the rest of her body had disappeared," he said.

Lakshmi 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.

On Wednesday, a team of more than 30 surgeons concluded the 24-hour operation, removing the extra limbs, transplanting a kidney from the twin and reconstructing Lakshmi's pelvic area.

Her emotional parents said they were finally beginning to believe that their daughter would be able to live a normal life.

"They say she is going to be back to normal, I believe them," said her father Shambhu, who goes by just one name. "I have just these doctors to thank for this miracle. It is a debt I could never repay."

Doctors said the complicated surgery was a great success, meaning she would not need further major reconstructive surgery. However, Lakshmi will need further treatments and possible surgery for clubbed feet before she will be able to walk.

Earlier, hospital spokeswoman Dr. Mamatha Patil said Lakshmi had wiggled her toes and smiled at her mother upon first awaking from surgery.

But Sharan Patil said it was too soon to tell when she would regain complete control of her legs and start learning to walk.

"We have seen many miracles and hope this one will happen soon," he said, adding that even though she has come through the critical period after surgery, doctors were still being cautious.

"We are not really out of the woods. We still have to wait and watch," he said.

Children born with deformities in deeply traditional rural parts of India such as the remote village in the northern state of Bihar that Lakshmi hails from are often viewed as reincarnated gods. But some had sought to make money from Lakshmi. Her parents had kept her in hiding after a circus apparently tried to buy the girl, they said.

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