We may have wondered at some point in our lives exactly what life would be like if we had six arms, eight legs, or even wings, but did you know that for some people it actually happens? The only problem is that it also damages one’s health and can even kill.
This did happen this month as a baby in Pakistan was born with six legs. Yes, it might make sure that the kid will be an awesome dancer, but it has left him fighting for his life. For obvious reasons, the baby is in danger because the added limbs put more pressure on the baby’s systems.
But why has this happened, and where do the legs come from? It has been caused by a rare genetic disease which affects one in a million, and the legs actually belong to another baby. The child’s six legs come from a conjoined twin that didn’t fully develop inside the womb.
Jamal Raza, director of the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi, said that while they plan to operate to remove the extra limbs, “Operating on such a baby is not an easy task as proper assessments need to be done first. We need to figure out whether the baby has his twin’s limbs or his own. We also need to consider how much the internal organs have developed as the latter could complicate matters and decrease the baby’s chances of surviving.”
Although the result of a rare birth defect, a potentially important point has been left out.
Many news sites are failing to mention that the parents are actually cousins. We have all heard the jokes about added limbs and webbed fingers on children who were the products of incest, but this just proves how true it could possibly be. Although there is no concrete evidence that incest was to blame here, and cousins are not so closely related as siblings, many people will be assuming that it has to have played its part as incest does increase the likelihood of suffering from these issues. My opinion? If you get the urge to give incest a go, take the words of the Lord’s Prayer literally: “Lead us not into temptation.”
As of writing, the child still lives but doctors are unsure if a solution can be found in time. But regardless of whether the main cause was incest or not, surely this raises more important questions, such as why is incest approved in some places?