Seven-year-old Deepak Paswan was born in India with a most unusual birth defect. Protruding from the middle of this young boy's stomach are the buttocks, two legs, and two arms of a semi-formed twin brother, some of whose body parts merged with those of Deepak's.
Reactions vary: children teasing him and pulling on the limbs for fun. But others such as Hindu pilgrims from the area near his village worship him as an incarnation of the god Vishnu, who is often depicted with more than four limbs. And the child often receives gifts, flowers, fruits, sweets... It's quite remarkable to think that some worship him and actually travel great distances to be able to touch him like some kind of divine being.
Obviously, this kind of attention has put an enormous amount of stress on the poor child, but he is lucky enough to have parents who seek to protect him rather than expose him publicly for his disability, even though they live in one of the poorest and least developed parts of India. In fact, most kids in his circumstance would not even survive childbirth.
However, one day came a glimmer of hope: doctors at the hospital in the southern city of Bangalore were prepared to bear the cost of the complicated and dangerous procedure to surgically remove Deepak's parasitic twin from his body. It can be a fatal operation and the parents' decision to let the limbs be removed from their son's body is a serious one. The twin bodies could share common organs as they are not sure of the exact "amount" of his twin's body that might be hidden inside Deepak.
The parents held their breath for four hours outside the operating room. But finally a miracle occurs! With a team of 15 doctors working on Deepak's case, the remarkably brave boy's strength gets him through this difficult surgery and, after all these years, he is finally free from his twin's body parts. He can finally resume a normal life and go to school in peace, like any boy his age.
If you'd like to know more about the surreal story of young Deepak, here is a very detailed documentary:
What a story! Deepak is so fortunate to have survived such an ordeal and to have parents who love and support him as much as they do.