Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Mermaid Girl" Shiloh Pepin dies at age 10

Shiloh Pepin, one of a handful of known sirenomelia survivors, has died. She was 10 years old.

Sirenomelia is a rare birth defect that causes the legs to be fused. Babies with siernomelia are typically not born without normal pelvic area features such as urethra and anus, and as such typically die shortly after birth. Surgeons can now sometimes correct the abnormalities that are incompatible with life.

Shiloh wasn't a candidate for leg separation surgery because of issues with how her blood vessels were formed. She used a wheelchair to attend school and dreamed of becoming a jeweler.

ABC News once arranged for Shiloh to meet with another sirenomelia survivor, Tiffany Yorks of Florida. You can read about it here.


Katie said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. I remember watching a special on TV on her, she seemed like such a happy and joyful little girl with a very loving family. Praying for them.

Unknown said...

Shiloh is/was a great example that every human being has value. Every human life is worth living. Her story -- and her parents' story -- should be an inspiration to any family that is struggling with a profound disability.

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