An Ethiopian teenager has a new lease on life after doctors there successfully removed her four extra limbs in an eight-hour surgery, according to MSNBC.
17-year-old Workitu Dababa was born with two extra legs and two extra arms, reports the International Business Times.
The deformity resulted from a birth defect known as a "parasitic twin." Dr. Eric Gokcen, an orthopedic surgeon at the CURE hospital where the surgery occurred, described the condition as similar to the phenomenon of Siamese twins, except the second "twin" is incomplete, leaving extra limbs to protrude from the torso.
"I thought that everybody was just like me when I was a kid. But then I began to realize that I was different from others when people made fun of my appearance in my third and fourth grade," said Dababa in a press conference after the surgery, adding, "I could not take the mocking any more after my seventh grade and I dropped out of school. I have been staying at home since then."
According to Ethiopian news site Ezega, the girl's family hadn't sought medical attention earlier because of stigma and a cultural belief that she was cursed. Healthcare workers persuaded her family to speak with a doctor after noticing her condition.
Some Ethiopian doctors have hailed the achievement as evidence of their country's advancing healthcare, reports Ezega. For Dababa, it's a new start on life. "Right now I feel like I am born again,” she said.