the reincarnation of a goddess ?

please tell me you read about this :


BANGALORE, India (AP) - A grueling, 24-hour-long operation to remove the extra limbs of a 2-year-old Indian girl born with four arms and four legs was a success, doctors announced Wednesday.

The girl, named Lakshmi, has been revered by some in her village as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess. She was born joined to a "parasitic twin" that stopped developing in her mother's womb. The surviving fetus absorbed limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped fetus.

A team of more than 30 physicians removed Lakshmi's extra limbs, salvaged her organs, and rebuilt her pelvis area, Dr. Sharan Patil said from a hospital in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

"Beyond our expectations, the reconstruction worked wonderfully well," said Patil, the lead orthopedic surgeon during the operation.

The complications for Lakshmi's surgery were myriad: She was born with four kidneys, entangled nerves, two stomach cavities and two chest cavities. She has not been able stand up or walk.

The surgery also included separating the fused spines, Patil said. "Every step was successful. There was no setback whatsoever."

Physicians had anticipated an especially difficult challenge would be rebuilding Lakshmi's pelvis, but that went smoothly also.

"We were able to bring the pelvic bones together successfully, which takes away the need for another procedure," Patil said.

Children born with deformities in deeply traditional rural parts of India, like the remote village in the northern state of Bihar that Lakshmi hails from, are often viewed as reincarnated gods. The young girl is no different - she is named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth.

"Everybody considers her a goddess at our village," said her father, Shambhu, who goes by one name. "All this expenditure has happened to make her normal. So far, everything is fine."

Others sought to make money from Lakshmi. Her parents kept her in hiding after a circus apparently tried to buy the girl, they said.

Patil said Lakshmi's family was "overwhelmed," and they expected to see her Wednesday afternoon.

Doctors at Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore said the child was popular among staff and patients. The hospital's foundation paid for the operation because the family could not afford the bills.

"She's a very cute girl," hospital spokeswoman Dr. Patil Mamatha said. "She's very playful and gets along well with others."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

. . . pretty trippy , huh ?