A Colorado Springs family is part of one of the strangest cases in medical history. Dr. Paul Grabb, a pediatric brain surgeon, said he was surprised when he discovered a small foot growing inside the brain of 3-day-old Sam Esquibel.
“The foot literally popped out of the brain,” Grabb told TheDenverChannel Wednesday. The appendage threatened the newborn’s life.
When Grabb performed the life-saving surgery at Memorial Hospital for Children in Colorado Springs, he was in for another surprise: he also found what appeared to be parts of an intestine in the folds of the infant’s tiny brain, in addition to another developing foot, hand and thigh. …
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Grabb told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “It looked like the breach delivery of a baby coming out of the brain.”
Sam was delivered on Oct. 1, within hours of an ultrasound that showed what appeared to be a tumor developing in the brain of the fetus. Three days later, Grabb performed the surgery to remove it. The reason for the strange growth was not clear at first. It was thought to be a teratoma — a congenital brain tumor composed of foreign tissue such as muscle, hair or teeth — or a fetus in fetu, which is a developmental abnormality in which a fetal twin begins to form within the other. Grabb, the only pediatric brain surgeon in southern Colorado, said that the formal pathology report identified the mass as a teratoma because of how perfectly formed the structure was but there is a fine line between that and the fetus in fetu.
“So it’s unclear if a fetal twin began to form within another,” Grabb said.
Grabb said he sees a teratoma once every few years but it doesn’t compare to Sam’s. Teratoma tumors do not usually grow as complex as a foot.
“You show those pictures to the most experienced pediatric neurosurgeons in the world, and they’ve never seen anything like it,” Grabb told the Gazette. “This is completely abnormal.”
Grabb said neurologically, Sam is expected to do well. Sam’s brain tumor can come back so he will be monitoring that in the months and years to come.
Good luck Sam. As far as having parts in your brain, I find the intestines more disturbing than the foot. A foot won’t try to digest anything. What is a teratoma, exactly? Wikipedia has this to say:
The tissues of a teratoma, although normal in themselves, may be quite different from surrounding tissues, and may be highly inappropriate, even grotesque: teratomas have been reported to contain hair, teeth, bone and very rarely more complex organs such as eyeball, torso, and hands, feet, or other limbs. Usually, however, a teratoma will contain no organs but rather one or more tissues normally found in organs such as the brain, thyroid, liver, and lung. A teratoma is an encapsulated tumor. Sometimes the capsule encompasses one or more fluid-filled cysts and when a large cyst occurs there is a potential for the teratoma to produce a structure within the cyst that resembles a fetus. In part because it is encapsulated, a teratoma usually is benign, although several forms of malignant teratoma are known and some of these are common. … Teratomas are thought to be present at birth (congenital), but often they are not diagnosed until much later in life…. – wiki
Could we harnass the error which makes them and grow new parts as needed?