Phuket’s “little mermaid’ breathing on her own

PHUKET CITY: There have been encouraging signs for the Burmese baby born in Phuket with ‘mermaid syndrome’ last Sunday: the infant has been taken off a respirator and is now breathing on her own.

According to the Prince of Songkla University (PSU) Hospital in Songkhla, where the baby girl is being treated, she has now been given the name ‘Nichapa’ by her Burmese mother, who is identified only as ‘Sui’.

For previous reports click here and here.

In a life-saving operation on Tuesday, surgeons at PSU constructed an artificial anus for the infant though her abdomen, allowing her to expel waste.

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The infant was rushed to PSU Hospital in Haad Yai soon after her birth at Vachira Phuket Hospital, where doctors were unable to locate her kidneys by ultrasound scanning and X-ray.

PSU Hospital doctors reported that Nichapa has a uterus and ovaries, but lacks normal female genitalia.

After her operation, she was put on a respirator for two days.

Nichapa has been breathing on her own since being taken off the respirator on Thursday and responds well to stimulus, doctors say.

The wounds from her operation are healing well and her artificial anus has already started to expel small amounts of waste, but there is still some waste left inside her body that is a source of concern.

Another major concern are her kidneys, which are underdeveloped, according to hospital reports.

According to the hospital, ‘mermaid syndrome’, known technically as Sirenomelia, is found in one in every 100,000 live births.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News

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

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