Yes, you read that headline correctly.
Fox News is reporting that a Brazilian mother has recently given birth to a two-headed baby boy – an apparent case of a very rare conjoined anomaly called dicephalic parapagus.
According to the report, Maria de Nazare, 23, gave birth on Monday by emergency C-section at a hospital in Anajas, in Brazil’s northern Para state.
Fox added that Maria, who was expecting twins when she arrived at the hospital to deliver, did not have any ultrasound exams during her pregnancy and thus, was unaware of her baby’s rare condition till only a few moments before the birth.
In a tribute to the religious celebrations at Christmas, Maria said she has has decided to call the pair Emanuel and Jesus.
Despite the rarity of the case, as well as the inherent problems that accompany dicephalic parapagus, doctors say the two-headed child, which has two brains and two spines but shares one heart and one set of vital organs, is surprisingly healthy and has an “amazing” appetite.
“For us, it was a great surprise to find out that the child was in really good health,” the hospital’s director, Claudionor Assis de Vasconcelos, told reporters.
Doctor Neila Dahas, who is treating the newborn, added that separating the heads would be impossible because he only has one set of organs.
“What we know statistically is that the children who undergo surgery and survive are the children who have less organs in common,” she said.
While rare, cases of dicephalic parapagus aren’t completely unheard of. In the US, the last successful birth of a two-headed child was in 1990, when Abigail and Brittany Hensel survived birth and continue to thrive today at 19-years-old.
Below is a brief clip of the Hensel twins:
Image: Daily Mail