A 9-month old girl in Zambia is set to undergo a potentially lifesaving operation to remove the feet of a parasitic twin protruding from her buttocks.
Little Faith Mwampe will have the deformity removed while her 18-year-old mother, Mercy Lenganji, waits anxiously, the news.com.au reports.
Another newspaper details that Mercy had in fact been expecting twins after a scan during pregnancy revealed two fetuses.
But that was not the case when Mercy gave birth.
Zambian doctors reportedly labeled her condition as so shocking they hid her from her mother for several hours after birth.
"They put Faith in an incubator as is the procedure with all babies born with deformities in Zambia, and only then was I allowed to see my child,” Mercy said, adding that she loved her baby unconditionally.
Mercy was told she would have to wait six months to be operated on.
The five-hour surgery is deemed very risky, and doctors fear she will be unable to walk or lead a normal life unless the sibling is surgically removed.
Professor Mukonge, the specialist leading the surgery at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, said he believes it will be the first and last time she needs to go under the knife.
"This surgery is to improve the quality of Faith's life as she ages," Mukonge said.
"Even though it carries risks, we expect full success. We anticipate that this will be the only major surgery that the child will ever need and even though the operation is long and complex, there will hopefully be no complications.”