Shiloh Pepin, a Maine girl who defied odds and lived 10 years after being born with “mermaid syndrome,” has died. She had been in critical condition in a Maine hospital for almost a week after a cold turned into pneumonia.
Pepin’s life story was featured on “Oprah” recently and she had a wide internet and TV following.
She was born with sirenomalia, which meant her legs were fused together. In Pepin’s case, she also had only one partially functioning kidney, and no lower colon or genitals.
At the girl’s birth, doctors told Leslie Pepin that her daughter would likely live only a few hours — maybe as long as a few days. At age 2, she had a kidney transplant, one of some 150 surgeries the girl would undergo in her life.
Doctors never attempted to separate her legs, a surgery many who have been born with “mermaid syndrome” attempt, since blood vessels crossing the width of her lower body would have made it too risky.
Pepin was a fifth grader this year.
Photo: Daily Mail