Rare and shocking, though not entirely unheard of, Brazilian medics were surprised when they discovered a 44-year-old foetus inside the body of an 84-year-old and ‘normally healthy’ Brazilian woman.
After suffering from extreme abdominal pains, the woman was admitted to a hospital in central Brazil, where x-rays revealed that she was carrying a 20 to 28-week-old “stone baby”
The exceptional occurrence is known as a condition called lithopedion (which is an ancient Greek term for stone child or child of stone), in which the foetus grows and then dies whilst all-the-while separated from the uterus. Due to the bodies’ natural inability to remove the foetus the dead foetus is covered in calcium.
The elderly woman told a riveting story explained that she became pregnant more than four decades ago but suffered pain during the pregnancy and was left only with the choice to visit a witch doctor due to the lack of medical professionals in her village. The witch doctor gave her medication that dealt with the issue, later causing the woman to assume the foetus had been exited her body after it stopped growing and moving.
Hospital gynaecologist Gesneria Saraiva Kratka has stated that "We saw it with X-rays. It was possible to see the face, the bones of the arms, of the legs, the ribs and the spine,"
Due to the lack of complications and the risks associated with the woman’s age, she has insisted that removal of the stone baby is not vital at this moment.