EXPIRED: 10/23/09 – Shiloh Pepin, 10, was a brave little girl. She was only expected to live a few days when she was born with a rare condition known as mermaid syndrome. Instead, it wasn’t her condition that brought an end to her life; it was a cold that developed into pneumonia earlier this month.
Being born with “mermaid syndrome,” also known as sirenomelia, meant that the little girl from Kennebunkport, Maine had only one partially working kidney, no lower colon or genital organs and legs fused from the waist down.
Some children who have survived sirenomelia have had surgery to separate their legs, but Shiloh did not because blood vessels crossing from side to side in her circulatory system would have been severed. She had received two kidney transplants, the last one in 2007.
Her story was featured recently on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and other national television programs. She also had her own website and Facebook page and was an inspiration to many.