Sunday, April 13, 2008

Parents of 2-faced baby refuse special medical care

Saying their two-faced baby is the incarnation of a Hindu goddess, the family of an Indian baby has said no to special medical treatment for the infant.

Mother Sushma holds her daughter Lali at their residence in Saini Sunpura, 50 km (31 miles) east of New Delhi, India, Tuesday, April 8, 2008. The baby with two faces, two noses, two pairs of lips and two pairs of eyes was born on March 11 in a northern Indian village, where she is doing well and is being worshipped as the reincarnation of a Hindu goddess, her father said Tuesday.(Photo:"She is fine. She sleeps, eats and cries like other normal babies ... A local doctor said there is nothing wrong with the child," Bhram Singh, Lali's grandfather, told Reuters in this village of brick houses and wheat fields.Villagers believe Lali, named that because of her bright red cheeks, is a form of Shakti, the Hindu goddess of power. "The birth is a miracle and a good sign for the village," said Daulat Ram, the village chief.The month-old girl suffers from what appears to be craniofacial duplication, an extremely rare congenital disorder in which part of the face is duplicated on the head. Lali (red) has an extra pair of eyes, nose, and lips. Media reports said she ate with both mouths and blinked all four eyes.The anomaly gave the newborn god-like status in the village, with hundreds of people swarming to the family's dilapidated brick house to worship her and seek blessings. But the number of onlookers has dwindled as the "miracle" turns a month old on Friday, and few visitors now venture into the dusty lanes of Saini looking for the house where Lali lives. Ram says that's because everyone in the vicinity had satiated their curiosity. "People are busy with the harvest season and have work to do. They won't keep coming back at this time."
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