Monday, June 16, 2008

The Girl with Eight Limbs


I can't wait to watch this upcoming special on National Geographic Channel called "Girl With Eight Limbs" which will premier on Sunday, June 22. Watch a preview before it airs here. It is a story about a girl in a remote village in India born with eight limbs. Some believed that she is the reincarnation of the eight limbed Hindu goddess of wealth and fortune.

Over at the NGC Blog, Paul Copeland, one of the producers of the NGC special, writes a two part post (Part One, Part Two) about his experience filming this extraordinary story:
I remember on the day and night of the operation (it started at 8am on November 6th and didn’t finish until 4am the next day) that only myself and the cameraman were allowed into the operating room alongside the medical team. It was extraordinary to be in there – overnight Lakshmi’s story had gripped the world and all the Indian news channels were running continuous updates – watching these surgeons taking on the biggest challenge of their careers. Mostly they were calm – only just before the parasitic twin was removed did one of them confess to me that he feared that the blood loss was too rapid and that Lakshmi would not sustain it – but as the night wore on and success seemed more certain the more elated they became (I remember they had an Ipod playing a selection of eighties British rock music, which struck me as mildly bizarre). When Lakshmi left the theatre just before 4am I remember seeing Sneh catching sight of Lakshmi with two legs for the first time and bursting into uncontrollable tears – and for me this summed up the whole experience, and how we had all become emotionally dragged into the fight for life of this one-in-a-million baby girl.
Little Lakshmi Tatma had the life-saving operation to remove her headless conjoined twin in November year. The latest news is that she has taken her first steps on her own two feet. I wish her well.

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