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Saturday, October 24, 2009

'Mermaid Girl' Dies

Ten-year old Shiloh Pepin, born with sirenomelia - also called "Mermaid Disease" - died this morning.

Shiloh was born with her legs fused together. Sirenomelia sufferers face many other problems; Shiloh had no lower colon, no genital organs, and only one kidney. Her kidney was only partially functional and she made it through two kidney transplants. Her mom called her a "tough little thing."

When she was born, doctors told her parents she would likely live only a few hours, or days at best; this is the case with most sirenomelia sufferers. Early in October, Shiloh came down with a cold and quickly developed pneumonia. She was admitted to the hospital on October 10th and had been in critical condition since earlier this week.

Shiloh Pepin's story was told on The Oprah Winfrey Show and other news outlets. Her fight inspired many, as can be evidenced by the comments on her Facebook page.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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