We’ve got a brand new book out: Uncle John’s Germophobia. It’s all about hospital horrors, bad doctors, botched surgeries, nightmare nurses, weird diseases, and all the things that can and will go wrong when it comes to your health. Here’s a taste of the kind of thing you’ll find inside.
The Boy Who Gave Birth To His Own Twin
While about 3 percent of all live births are to multiple babies, twins commonly develop and self-terminate very early on in utero. This is very early on, in the cell multiplication stage, before features develop, at which point one of the two twins simply “wins out” and absorbs the other.
That’s why this story is so weird.
In October 2013, a two-year-old boy in China named Xiao Feng told his parents that his stomach felt weird and that he was having trouble breathing. His parents took him to a hospital, where doctors discovered the cause of Feng’s ultimately life-threatening complaints: inside his abdominal cavity, they found an undeveloped fetus. The mass was 10 inches wide, and its spine and limbs had formed. It was his twin, and doctors removed it surgically, making Feng the rare two-year-old boy to give birth.
What happened? Identical twins are the result of when an egg splits in two after it’s been fertilized. Conjoined twins happen when the egg doesn’t completely split. That’s what happened to Feng and his twin in the egg stage, before Feng continued developing and the other half-egg did not.
Similar cases have been reported, although very rarely. In 2012, a three-year-old boy in Peru went through a similar ordeal. And in 2008, a nine-year girl in Greece was diagnosed with a tumor, that when removed revealed traces of her undeveloped parasitic twin.