Fetus in fetu or Foetus in foetu is a rare medical condition in which a person develops the forming of a mass of tissue resembling a fetus inside the body.
Fetus in fetu occurs to about one in 500 000 live births and is said to either be the cause of a normal fetus eveloped inside its twin or that the mass is a highly developed teratoma (an encapsulated tumor).
In the theory of the fetus in fetu being a teratoma, it thought that two fetuses during pregnancy share a common placenta in which one fetus wraps around the other and the fetus wrapped inside becomes a parasite which feeds on the host’s blood supply. The parasitic twin in this case has no brain and is almost always unable to survive on its own.
A fetus in fetu’s organs have a working blood supply from its host, but never any functional brain, heart, lungs, gastronomical or uninary functions. It works more like a parasite than an human being.
Sanju Bhagat - The Man with a twin living inside of him
Sanju Bhagat – The Man with a twin living inside of him
The Indian man Sanju Bhagat is a more known case of fetus in fetu. Sanju Bhagat, from Nagpur India had a swollen stomach, could barely breathe and looked like he was about to give birth to a baby.
One night in June 1999, the 36-year old finally after all those years thought his big belly was more than a cosmetic problem.
The doctor’s thought Bhagat had a giant tumor so big it was pressing on his diaphragm causing his problems to breathe. During the serious operation, the doctors discovered something unexpected, as gallons of fluid spilled out from Bhagat’s stomach: the doctor could shake hands with somebody inside.
The doctors discovered a lot of bones, limbs, hair and a jaw and genitalia in Bhagat’s stomach. The creature inside the stomach had hands and feet very developed as well as long fingernails.
Sanju Bhagat is one of fewer than 90 cases of fetus in fetu recorded in medical litterature. However, usually both twins die before birth because of having to share the same placenta, but in this case the fetus managed to feed off Bhagat for 36 years and survive.
Alamjan Nematilaev - The Boy who gave birth to his own twin
Alamjan Nematilaev – The Boy who gave birth to his own twin
Another more known case of fetus in fetu is Alamjan Nematilaev, then in 2003, a seven year old boy from Kazakhstan. Alamjan complained in about something moving inside of him which led doctors to perform an operation.
As whit Bhagat, doctors found an identical twin brother growing inside of Alamjan, which had part of a head, som hair and teeth and even something resembling of a face.
Doctors were unsure what caused the boys condition and tried to figure out if it had anything to do with the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster, but it was most likely because of Alamjan being the fetus wrapped around his twin.
The reason Alamjan felt the fetus move inside him, was because the fetus can develop a primitive spinal reflex system and in some cases limbs and fingers if it gets enough blood.
Michael Wilkinson, an English man who came back to life after being pronounced dead for 30 minutes
Michael Wilkinson is a 23-old man from Lancashire in England who was pronounced dead on February 1st, 2009.
Michael was sent to the Royal Preston Hospital after collapsing after an evening of some drinking with his family, which triggered an undiagnosed heart condition.
After being clinically dead for 30 minutes and given the last rites, the doctors realised that Michael’s pulse had return. He was alive another two days before being pronounced dead a second and final time on February 3rd.
Michael Wilkinson was returned to life because he had a condition called Lazarus syndrome which means spontaneous return of circulation once attempts at bringing back to life have failed.
Lazarus syndrome has only up to 38 recorded cases in the world and got its name after the biblical story of Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus. In other cases, the person with the syndrome has survived after being pronounced dead and even recovered fully.
In 2007, an American woman named Judith Johnson was pronounced dead because of a cardiac arrest after indigestion and sent to the morgue. At the morgue, they discovered that Judith was still alive. Judith later sued the hospital and staff for the damages she now has as a supposed result of the medical care she received.
In the beginning of May 2009, a woman was all over the news. That woman’s name is Connie Culp and she is the first person to undergo a near-total face transplant in the United States.
The procedure took 22 hours and was performed on December 10, 2008. 80 percent of Culp’s face was transplanted. Her entire face was replaced except for her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin.
The 46-year old mother Connie Culp was shot in the face with a shotgun by her husband Thomas G. Culp in September 2004 outside a bar in Ohio. Her husband tried to perform a murder-suicide, but he failed and both of them survived.
Connie Culp lost most of the midsection of her face and from 2004 to 2008 she got a dozens of surguries. Before her facetransplant, her disfigurement prevented her to eat and breathe on her own.
After the transplant, Connie was blind but she has learned braille and can use her other senses quite normal.
Connie Culp after her face transplant
The husband was convicted of aggrevated attempted murder and serves a 7-year prison sentence. Connie says she has forgiven him and that she is waiting when he gets out of prison.
Vicki Borken is a 45-year old woman from Miami, U.S.A. who has rare type of the condition called “Lymphedema”, which has made her left leg grow to a massive size.
Vicki’s foot and leg started to grow abnormally when she was 2 years old, now it is 102 cm around and weighs 39 kg. Vicki’s case of Lymphedema is one of the largest in the U.S.
Lymphedema is swelling of the tissue. Lymphedema is caused by a faulty lymphatic system. The lymphatic system collects and filters the tissue fluid of the body, helping fight infections. Lymphedema causes the fluids to be kept localized at one area, causing it to swell.
Vicki’s swelling on her leg has an infection that risks spreading to her whole body, poisoning her blood.
Vicki fears her condition will be genetically inherited by her 8 year old daughter, something that’s possible.
Vicki things her swelling began after she had a dresser falling on her leg when she was young.
Each morning, Vicki has to wash and dress her leg – a task which takes 3 hours.
Vicki’s daughter helps Vicki with the protecting bandaging of her leg, a job she has been doing every morning since she was 3 years old.
There are different ways of treating lymphedema. One is a special type of massage to encourage the lymphatic system to work as it should. Another one is a method which is performed by the Swedish surgeon Dr. Håkan Brorson, where fat is drained from the bodypart by liposuction.
Jose Mestre from Portugal has a gigantic life threatening tumor covering his face.
Jose Mestre was born in 1957 in Lisabon, Portugal. He was born with a birthmark on his face, and at the age of 14, it began to swell.
Since Jose was a teenager, the tumor has been growing, covering his lips and one of his eyes. The tumor is now 33 cm long and weighs around 3 kg.
Jose Mestre as a teenager
The growth is a condition called a vascular malformation –a collection of blood vessels that have expanded.
If it wasn’t for all the blood and its vessels in the growth, Jose said he would cut it all off.
Jose’s mouth has become a part of his tumor, causing his teeth to breaking and twisting.
In 2008, at the age of 51, Jose finally got the courage to try a surgical procedure. If his tumor is not removed, he is in a great risk to be suffocated by it.
Jose went to London with his sister and his niece to be observed and hopefully – relieved from his tumor.
At a surgery, there is a great risk because all of the potential blood loss when trying to remove the tumor. Another problem is that Jose is a Jehovah’s witness and can’t accept the procedure’s necessary blood transfusion.
After a surgical procedure, Jose would be left with a raw face which would need reconstruction. The problem with this is that Jose wouldn’t be able to show facial expressions.
Ryan Gonzáles is an American who was born in San Diego with a rare condition called Harlequin ichthyosis.
Harlequin Ichtyosis caused Ryan to have deep red cracks in his skin and his eyes turned inside out.
One in 500 000 babies is born with this condition which is also known as Harlequin fetus. It’s almost always fatal because of the skin’s difficulty to hold water and its lack of protecting from bacterias or diseases.
Ryan’s body produces too many skincells and his skin is not shedded properly – it’s sheds seven to ten times faster than normal leading to a hard, armour-like skin in red.
Because it’s such a rare condition, not many doctors know how to properly treat it. However, Ryan was successfully treated with an acnecream called Accutane. It functions like a large dose of Vitamine A, allowing his skin to shed properly.
With a normal caloric intake, Ryan was still starving as a baby because of his body was producing new skincells at an extremely fast rate.
Ryan started to grow when he got a high calory, high protein food suppleant which he now receivs while asleep.
Ryan needs to consume 7500 calories a day to keep up with his fast shedding of the skin.
Ryan González grown up
Ryan is now 22 years old and competes in triathlon despite his difficult condition which also has left him with an impairment in his hearing and eyesight.
Dede Koswara from Jakarta, Indonesia is a 36 year old man with a rare medical condition with symptoms making parts of his body looking like a tree.
Dede, also known as Tree man has warts all over his body and his limbs look like roots growing from the skin.
It grows 5mm each month and has recently grown around his face.
Dede got his first wart when he was 15 and cut his knee in an acciedent. The wart deveoloped on his lower leg and then spread uncontrollaby.
He used to work with construction and fishing, but at age 20 he could no longer make use of his hands.
The condition’s name in latin is ”Epidermodysplasia verruciformis”.
Warts are a tumor caused by a virus that lies resting inside the body.
Doctors believe Dede got his condition because of him having The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and a weak immune system.
Local doctors tried to remove some of his warts, by the warts just grew back later at an even faster rate.
Dede Koswara (tree man) after his treatment
Each wart has its own blodsupply and it’s hard to control the bleeding when doctor wants to remove the warts
Dede is unable to fight the warts as his immunesystem is very bad
Surgical treatment is not the option, but instead medical
Dede is member of a group called ”The Clan” which is a group of him and four other people with other rare medical conditions.
The Clan performs at the circus in the city to earn money. The others are called ”Bubble man”, ”The Lady”, ”Elephant man” and ”Snake man”. The performances is the only choice for Dede to earn money for his family.
After a sucessful operation in March 2008, Dede was able to feed himself and even operate a phone for the first time in many years. The doctors removed around 4 lbs (2 kg) of warty horns from his limbs. Now the mission is for the doctors to find a way of not letting the warts to grow back.
Although this is a very rare condition, there is another found case: 38 year old Ion Toader, a man from Romania who also got the condition when he was a teenager.