Karam, the Iraqi baby born with eight limbs traveled to India with his parents to undergo the difficult operation.
Iraqi baby Karam was born eight limbs due to an unfortunate case of polymelia. Also known as hydra syndrome, it is a birth defect that results in one having more than just two sets of limbs.
The condition is very rare and affects about one out of every million infant, and is the result of one baby swallowing a twin during early embryonic development.
This happens when an embryo starts developing into conjoined twins, but either of the twins degenerate due to genetic changes and leaves behind extra limbs.7
Karam’s father, who is a doctor himself, flew him from war-torn Iraq to Jaypee Hospital in the city of Noida in India, where he underwent a successful three-stage operation to remove the seven-month-old boy’s extra limbs, including the ones sprouting from his stomach.
However, being born with extra limbs were not Karam’s only developmental problems which could prevent him having a normal life. He was also born with three testes, an under-developed leg, a crooked back, as well as cardiovascular system problems and small intestines in need of surgical treatment.
The little fighter had his first operation in August, where doctors removed two limbs attached to his stomach and the extra small intestine. Following a second surgery in December tackling a heart defect, Karam had the rest of his extra limbs removed in a complex surgery which lasted eight hours.
Doctors save muscle tissues from the removed limbs and used them to restore damaged tissues in the infant’s under-developed left leg.
For now, Karam has flown back to Iraq looking like any other baby. However, he is expected to undergo an operation to treat another heart anomaly called Corrected Transposition of Great Arteries in six months.