Two-Faced Baby Triggers Shock and Awe


"She is very normal," Dr. Brigdal Nagar yelled, pointing at an ABC News reporter and shoving Vinod Singh aside. "We don't need the media here. She's not an abnormal baby. It's just that she has two faces. And she's living a very normal life. And if she dies in the future, it's as God wishes."

Villagers have tried to make her life as normal as they can. The visitors who welcomed the baby's birth are no longer coming around. She is surrounded by only her family and their friends.

But perhaps she is too protected. Because the parents won't agree to allow the hospital to perform a CT scan, there is no way to know exactly what she is suffering from, no way to know if her life is in danger.

In 2004, a Dominican baby was born with a second head that was attached only to the first head, not the rest of her body. That condition, in which the second head is the product of a conjoined twin that stops developing in the womb, is known as craniopagus parasiticus. Surgery to remove the parastic twin killed the baby.

In 2005, an Egyptian woman named Naglaa Mohamed gave birth to Manar, who had two heads but also the remnants of an unformed twin's torso attached to her abdomen. Her surgery was successful, and eventually she appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey" show.

But for the Indian baby, there is no way to tell whether she has two spinal columns, whether there are multiple internal organs, or whether she will survive until the CT scan is completed.

"She's normal right now," Dr. Brigdal said. "But in the future she might face problems."

Lazareff was slightly more optimistic, writing by e-mail that "I presume that there is no reason for her not [to] live a long life. Stress on presume."

As for the parents, they are a bit overwhelmed by all the attention. They are overwhelmed by the terrifying thought that they have to raise a child who is so visibly different.

"She's just a simple baby," Vinod Singh says, before admitting with a touch of sadness, "she's not well."

If she survives, despite the odds, she might match her reputation.

"If everything below the neck is fine, and she could keep her head up, then she could walk around and live," said Henry Kawamoto, a Los Angeles-based specialist in facial plastic surgery. "And if she did that, she really would be a goddess."

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