Malnourished WOMAN dies after failing to remove ‘stone baby’ from her belly for nine years
A woman who had carried a dead fetus inside of her for about nine years has died from severe malnutrition.
The woman, who was originally from the Congo, in Central Africa, went to see doctors in New York and complained of indigestion, bloating, and hearing “gurgling” sounds after meals.
The 50-year-old, who refused to be named, was diagnosed with having a ‘stone baby‘ inside her that constricted her intestines as a result of a miscarriage nine years earlier, according to scan results.
The patient refused care, claiming that she thought her illness was caused by an evil “spell” that had been cast on her in Africa, as per Daily Mail.
The fetus, which would have been the woman’s ninth child, stopped developing inside her at 28 weeks and she suffered the condition known as lithopedion.
What is Lithopedion?
Lithopedion, or ‘stone baby‘, is a rare phenomenon that occurs when a fetus dies during pregnancy and is not released from the body but is also too large to be reabsorbed by the body.
As a result, the immune system determines that the dead fetus poses a threat and launches an attack. This leads to calcium-rich deposits being laid down on the fetus, gradually encasing it in a calcified shell or turning it to stone.
It is just one of the numerous pregnancy issues that might seriously harm a mother’s health in the long run. There are only about 290 reported cases of lithopedion across history.
The first-ever such case was recorded back in 1582 when a ‘stone baby’ was found in the belly of a French woman named Madame Colombe Chatri, after she died at the age of 68 years.
Severe malnutrition and chronic starvation
The African woman died 14 months after landing in the US. According to doctors, she was severely malnourished and starved to death.
The ‘stone baby’ continued crushing the intestine and her body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients was blocked as a result, which led to starvation.
In these situations, tissue deterioration that results in cardiac arrest or cardiac arrhythmia, meaning abnormal heartbeat, may ultimately be the cause of death. One such reason is an infection brought on by a compromised immune system.
The patient “declined intervention due to fear of surgery and elected for symptom monitoring,” said Dr Waseem Sous, an internal medicine specialist at SUNY Upstate Medical University who reported the case.
She tragically died from chronic starvation in the context of repeated intestinal obstruction brought on by the lithopedion.