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Doctors treating an elderly Chinese woman, rushed to the hospital over severe stomach ache were stunned when they found that she had been carrying an unborn child for more than 60 years.
Huang Yijun, aged 92 revealed her baby died in her womb way back in 1948 and did not have it removed because she did not have money.
She said doctors charged 100 pounds for the surgery but she could not afford it.
‘It was a huge sum at the time – more than the whole family earned in several years so I did nothing and ignored it’, Huang told the press.
The secret unfolded after Huang hurt her stomach, and visited the hospital for a scan.
One of the doctors who attended to her at Qingshen hospital said:
‘I couldn’t believe my eyes when I discovered she had a baby in her belly. I’ve been a doctor for more than 40 years and it’s the first time I have seen something like this’.
A consultant and director of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at the hospital remarked that:
‘Normally a dead foetus would decay. It’s very rare that Huang can be so healthy’.
Through operation Huang delivered a baby known as a lithopedion, also called ‘Stone Baby’.
Lithopedion –What is it?
The word lithopedion is a descriptive term derived from the Greek lithos, meaning stone, and paidion, meaning child, to designate a fetus that has become stony or petrified.
Lithopedion is a rare medical phenomenon, which occurs when a pregnancy fails and the fetus calcifies while still in the mother’s body.
What usually happens is that the implanted fetus gets to an advanced stage before it dies.
Too large to be absorbed by the body, the remains of the child or its surrounding amniotic sac slowly calcify, turning to stone as a way to protect the woman’s body from infection from the decomposing tissue.
If no complications occur, believe it or not, the mother can basically just go on with her life, writes M Dee Dubroff, a US freelance writer.
Close to 300 cases of lithopedions have ever been documented by medical literature.
While lithopedion was first described in the 10th century by Albucasis, the first famous case of a stone baby was from a 68 year old woman named Colombe Chatri from France in 1582.
For about 28 years of Chatri’s life, she complained of abdominal pain and also felt a very large, hard substance in her abdomen.
When Chatri died, physicians performed an autopsy through which they discovered the stone baby.
According to reports, this particular calcified fetus was sold, including drawings of it.
The fetus was passed around over the years before finally ending up in the Danish Museum of Natural History. It later got missing.
Editor’s Note: This article published by Kasatintin.com was written with extra materials from online resources. All of which have been cited in text.