A teenager is finally getting medical help after living her entire life with two extra arms and fingers dangling from her chest.
Veronica Cominguez, 14, was born with the limbs and an oblong-shaped torso growing from her chest in Iligan City, Philippines. The extra parts – belonging to a parasitic twin which did not develop properly – have continued to grow with her. She even cleans her living ”twin” and cuts their finger nails for them.
But Veronica is now finally set to live a normal life after locals raised money and officials organised for her to fly to neighbouring Thailand for an operation.
”When I was little, I thought it was just a foot. But as I grew up, it became bigger
”It’s heavy, it limits my movement. It keeps swinging. My dress often gets wet.”
Veronica’s mother, Flora Cominguez, said their family has a history of twins. She was not able to properly see a doctor during her pregnancy but said that she knew that it was twins. She even had a name for both of them.
Unfortunately, the other baby did not fully develop.
Flora said that Veronica’s navel would always get wet because of the liquid that comes out of it. Sometimes, the discharge has blood on it.
”The liquid that comes out of the opening smells bad, like human excretion.”
According to Veronica’s doctor, the extra limbs can be removed through a simple operation.
Dr. Beda Espineda, a pediatric surgeon at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center who also handles the medical case of Veronica, said:
”Most of these cases can be removed. Because, usually, the body structures involved are not vital. Most of them are just attached to the skin or bones. For surgeons, it is easy to remove.”
Veronica is now waiting to have her ”twin” who has become a parasite, removed as soon as possible.
The local government office in her village, which has her under its welfare care system, said she is due to fly to Thailand in the coming weeks for the procedure.
A spokesman from the Barangay council of Kabacsanan said last Friday (27/07): ”It has been arranged for Veronica to have an operation. and we hope that she will live a normal, healthy life after this.
”Life has not been easy for her but she’s a very sensible, clever and mature girl. She’s a wonderful pupil. Everyone is very pleased for her that she can soon have an operation.”