Connect with us


Phuket prays for baby with “mermaid syndrome’

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET CITY: Surgeons are working desperately to save a Burmese baby born in Phuket with a rare birth defect known as ‘mermaid syndrome’, a condition in which both legs are fused together from the torso down.

The infant, named Sui, was born at Vachira Phuket Hospital at 8:40pm on Sunday.

Vachira Phuket Assistant Director Dr Sirichai Silapa-archa said Sui was born prematurely to a 36-year-old Burmese woman in her 35th week of gestation.

Weighing 2,240 grams at birth, Sui is the third child born to the low-wage worker.

‘Mermaid syndrome’ is technically known as Sirenomelia, Dr Sirichai told a press conference at the hospital yesterday.

The condition occurs in about one in every 70,000 births, Dr Sirichai said.

It is usually fatal within a few days of birth due to abnormal kidney and bladder development.

Doctors have not yet been unable to determine Sui’s sex, but suspect the infant to be a girl.

Sui has already been taken to the Prince of Songkla University Hospital in Songkhla’s Haad Yai District, the top medical facility in the south, where specialist surgeons will perform a series of delicate procedures.

Success will depend on the health of Sui’s vital organs, especially the heart, kidneys and urinary tract.

Just 300 babies born with Sirenomelia around the world are known to have survived childbirth, but the vast majority die soon thereafter, Dr Sirichai said.

Vachira Phuket pediatrician Dr Weerasak Lorthongkham said initial attempts to locate Sui’s kidneys using x-ray and ultrasound had failed.

The first surgery in Haad Yai will likely involve surgical construction of a canal through Sui’s abdominal wall, allowing stools and urine to pass, he said.

“If this isn’t done soon, Sui will probably die,” he said.

If Sui survives this surgery, attention could then turn to disconnecting the fused limbs, which are bound together with connective tissue.

Treatment costs will be covered by the state under the 30-baht insurance scheme.

Like all legally-registered migrant workers, Sui’s mother is covered under the program, he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 mins ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 9,489 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand1 hour ago

Alleged drug dealer busted in Chon Buri, police seize drugs and gun

Crime2 hours ago

Nearly 200 police have been found guilty of misconduct this year

Sponsored4 hours ago

St. Andrews International School, joins global event for children’s wellbeing

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand3 hours ago

Legalising prostitution, Beautiful Temples, Thai Taxi’s | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 27

Thailand3 hours ago

Army ranger suspected of killing his wife and mother-in-law surrenders to authorities in Songkhla

Thailand4 hours ago

6 dead and 30 provinces affected by topical storm ‘Dianmu’

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

Kanchanaburi experiences earthquake so minor hardly anyone notices it

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Emergency decree extended, Quarantine waved | September 28

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand’s reopening divided into 4 phases

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand Restrictions waived Nov 1, Pornography law amendments | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 97

Coronavirus World7 hours ago

Restrictions tightened in Singapore amid surge in Covid-19 infections

Thailand7 hours ago

Pattaya mayor confirms Pattaya reopening postponed to November

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Thai PM hit with 50-million-baht lawsuit from angry restaurant operators

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 9,489 new cases and 129 deaths

Coronavirus Vaccines7 hours ago

Thailand in talks to procure 120 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for 2022

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11