Maine girl with ‘mermaid syndrome’ dies at 10

The Associated Press
Posted Oct. 24, 2009, at 12:57 p.m.

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — Shiloh Pepin, a 10-year-old Maine girl who had a very rare condition often called “mermaid syndrome,” has died.

A spokesman at Maine Medical Center said Pepin died there Friday afternoon. She had been hospitalized in critical condition since last week.

Pepin, of Kennebunkport, was born with only one partially working kidney, no lower colon or genital organs and legs fused from the waist down. Doctors told her parents that she would likely survive for only hours, maybe days. Her condition is called sirenomelia.

Some children who have survived sirenomelia have had surgery to separate their legs, but Pepin’s circulatory system made that challenging because blood vessels crossing from side to side would have been severed. She had received two kidney transplants.

Her story was featured recently on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and other national television programs.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/10/24/news/maine-girl-with-lsquomermaid-syndromersquo-dies-at-10/ printed on April 21, 2014