Surgeons find ‘feet in brain’ of baby thought to have tumor

December 19, 2008

(ChattaBox) — This poor baby started off on the wrong foot literally. Doctors operated on three-day old Sam Esquibel after finding what looked like a microscopic tumor on an MRI scan.

But while removing the growth, they also found a nearly perfect foot and the partial formation of another foot, a hand and a thigh.

Dr Paul Grabb, a paediatric neurosurgeon, said Sam was otherwise healthy when he underwent the procedure in October.
“It looked like the breech delivery of a baby, coming out of the brain,” he said.

“To find a perfectly formed structure (like this) is extremely unique, unusual, borderline unheard of.”

The growth may have been a case of “foetus in foetu” in which a twin begins to form within its sibling. A medical expert speculated there were probably less than 100 recorded cases of foetus in foetu in the medical literature.

And the team at Memorial Hospital for Children in Colorado Springs said such cases very rarely occur in the brain.

Sam’s parents, Tiffnie and Manuel Esquibel, say their son is at home now but faces monthly blood tests to check for signs of cancer or regrowth, along with physical therapy to improve the use of his neck.

But they say he has mostly recovered from the operation.


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