Written by Irma Musliana, translated by New Jo-Lyn
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, something happens to blow your minds out of this galaxy. Are you ready for this?
A 15-year-old boy in Sungai Petani, Kedah was found to be….PREGNANT!!!
OMG, a boy? Pregnant?! Is that possible? While there has been a lot of debate on the possibility of male pregnancy, what happened to Mohd Zul Shahril Saidin is definitely not an imaginative work of science fiction. The boy really was pregnant, just not in the conventional way you would think…
[WARNING: Graphic images ahead]
He was actually carrying HIS OWN TWIN!
For 15 years of his life, Shahril had been carrying the fetus of his parasitic twin inside him, reported Sinar Harian. Except for a SWOLLEN belly, the teenager lived like any normal kid and a source close to him said “he could even play football”!
He would eat a lot though, and joked that he had to eat more to feed the “baby” inside him, related his mother Hasmah Ahmad, 38, when met at her home in Kampung Charuk Kangar. Shahril is her fifth child of eight kids. Since there was NO PAIN and he appeared to be in NO DANGER, the question surgery never came up.
“When he was one year old, the doctors suspected something was growing in his stomach with the shape of a head and asked to bring Shahril to the hospital if he was in pain. But his condition seemed normal until four months ago, when he started vomiting frequently and complaining of pain.” – Hasmah, The Malay Mail Online
Finally Shahril was admitted to the Baling District Hospital before being referred to the Sultan Abdul Hamid Hospital in Sungai Petani. On Tuesday, 17 May, doctors removed the twin fetus that had developed hands, legs, genitalia and long, curly hair.
“The foetus which was removed from my son’s stomach was formed with organs like those of a baby, only the nose and mouth were not complete.” – Hasmah told Bernama
WOW, this is a super bizarre case, but this is not the first time it happened…
Even BABIES and GROWN MEN have been known to be ‘pregnant’
Though this is the first time such a case is recorded in Malaysia, there are some notable (weirder) cases around the world:
June 1999 – Sanju Bhagat from Nagpur, India was always self-conscious about his big belly. His case attracted attention because of the length of time he carried his twin – 36 YEARS (ie. all his life). Thinking he was removing a tumour, the doctor described: “To my surprise and horror, I could shake hands with somebody inside.”
2003 – Japanese doctors operating on a woman (who never had intercourse) found the most fully formed fetus by far. It had a small, doll-like body, mostly complete, however it was unmistakably deformed – a split spine, a brain not divided into two normal hemispheres and one fluid-filled ‘eye’ cloaked by thick, long eyelashes.
November 2006 – A Chilean boy was diagnosed with this BEFORE he was born! When doctors scanned the mom, they noticed the four-inch-long fetus in the boy’s abdomen (a super rare Russian doll-like formation of a fetus within a fetus). Doctors removed the fetus after the boy was born. It had limbs and a semi-developed spinal cord, but no head and stood no chance of survival.
Sorry for giving so many examples, but we didn’t wanna leave ANY out coz they’re all so fascinating, we figured you’d forgive us for ranting on. Anyway for more cases, read up here and here, hurhur. NO JOKE, a this twin ‘pregnancy’ thing can happen to male or female, grown ups or babies or fetuses, in the belly or other parts of the body too (no really, we’re just getting to it). We can’t even begin to brain this!
This phenomenon is called fetus in fetu.
Fetus in fetu is an abnormality where a mass of tissue resembling a fetus grows inside the body. It’s very rare and only happens for 1 in every 500,000 births in the world, PHEW! There are TWO theories of its origin:
- Parasitic twin theory – Where the mass starts out as a normal fetus but gets absorbed into the body of the living twin
- Teratoma theory – Where the mass is a highly developed teratoma
*A teratoma is a kind of tumour, but unlike an average cancer tumour, teratomas typically contain hair, teeth, bones, eyes, limbs and organs. As mentioned earlier, it’s not confined to the stomach area, teratomas have been reportedly discovered in people’s head, nose, neck, etc. Science still cannot explain why they form.
Fascinating it may be, but fetus in fetu could be dangerous and brings risks to the host twin. One such problem is twin reversed arterial perfusion, aka TRAP. When TRAP happens the ‘pump’ twin (ie. healthy twin) pumps blood to the nonviable twin. As a result, the pump twin’s heart works extra hard, risking health failure and even death!
So is there a way to detect this and cure this fetus in fetu condition? Well…
In order to avoid fetus deformity, pregnant women are advised not to have contact with harmful chemicals or radioactive rays or take medicine that is not prescribed by their doctors. To ‘treat’ this, an operation has to be done to remove the parasitic twin. Actually from the time a baby is born, doctors should be able to detect fetus in fetu already with x-ray and ultrasound.
So what is gonna happen to Shahril and his twin now?
It’s good to hear that there is closure for their family as Hasmah has come to accept what happened to the fetus, Shahril’s twin. She told reporters the fetus was buried according to Muslim rites at a cemetery in Sungai Petani.
There is no news yet whether Shahril has been discharged from hospital but hopefully he makes a speedy recovery. If you think your teenage years were tough, try walking in Shahril’s shoes. His mom said after entering secondary school, his movements started becoming more restricted and he started feeling self-conscious about his appearance. But after all that’s said and done, now life for the 15-year-old boy can start being normal.