Milagros Cerron, whose first name means “miracles” in Spanish, with a rare congenital defect known as sirenomelia, or “mermaid syndrome,” which left her legs connected from her heels to her groin.
The baby was born to a low income family who were not able to have an ultrasound during pregnancy because of finances. Everyone was surprised and horrified when she arrived with her legs fused together. After an appeal on tv. Dr. Luis Rubio Idrogo, executive director of the Solidary Hospital from the city of Lima, sent an ambulance to Huancayo to get Milagros and perform a reconstructive surgery on her legs.
The parents were confused and scared after her first surgery and didn’t visit her for a few weeks, while she was recovering. The media caught wind of the story and the baby became a symbol of hope, because everyone doubted she could survive, but she did.
On her second birthday, after she opened her gifts, Milagros surprised her family by taking her first steps.
Her first word was not “momma” or “dadda”, it was “doctor” showing how big her love is for her doctor Luis Rubio, who’s taking care of her rehabilitation and said that this little girl changed his life forever.
Dr. Rubio, invited reporters to see her progress on Friday. He said doctors have successfully reconstructed the child’s hips, knees and ankles and that she is “doing well physically.”
Her operations are not over, Milagros will need another operation in about two years to reconstruct and repair her urinary and sexual organs.
Milagros, who turns 3 years old next week, now takes ballet classes and runs around the playground with her classmates.
Tiffany Yorks, a 17-year-old American, is the only other person known to have undergone successful surgery to correct the rare congenital defect, which occurs in one out of every 70,000 births and is almost always fatal within days of birth.
Milagros’ family comes from a poor village in the Andes mountains but Lima’s municipal government has agreed to pay for her medical care.