Last night I watched a documentary about the Peruvian "Mermaid Baby".
This lovely little girl was born with both legs fused together, a so -called sirenomelia baby. I have only ever seen a photograph of a miscarried baby with this syndrome, which is incredibly rare, and she is the only child alive in the world with this syndrome, as almost every other baby dies in utero. I wanted to watch it from a professional viewpoint, but I soon became caught up sadness and anger .
Her father came from a remote Peruvian village, where his family regard her as a curse, and wonder why God has allowed her to happen.
The parents , like most other Peruvians, who live in poverty, were promised that surgeons would help their baby if they agreed to take part in a media circus, for there is no other way to describe it.
The operation which took place to separate her legs was televised live, and the only way the parents could watch it was in a room where they in turn - and their reactions and emotions- were also being filmed and broadcast.
These parents agreed to it and would obviously have done anything to help their lovely little girl, who is their pride and joy, but you would have thought that even the feeding frenzy which is the world media would have shown them some compassion.
The doctor involved was a media seeker, keen to improve his status and reputation as the doctor who "cured" the mermaid baby.
When these sweet parents asked him to be their baby`s godfather, because of his help, he instead asked that his friend the Mayor of Lima be used, as it would improve the mayor`s chances when he runs for political election.
I tell you, it made me want to hurl.
I am pleased to report that the initial operations were successful, and the little one is doing well, but she will need major reconstructive surgery at further points in her growing years.
I will be praying for her and her parents.