Australian doctors perform life saving surgery on toddler born with three legs

Published: 27 April 2017

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Today was a momentous day for one little girl and her family.

Two-year-old Choity Khatan, who was born with three legs, is finally going home to Bangladesh. 

Soon after she was born she had one of her legs partially removed, but doctors in Bangladesh were unable to do more. She faced an uncertain future. 

But thanks to the incredible work of doctors at Melbourne’s Monash Children’s Hospital and the Children’s First Foundation, she can now live a normal life.

Choity’s mother, Shima Khatun, said, “Everything is good now… she can play like other babies… she is the same (as them).”

Professor Dr Chris Kimber, head of surgery at Monash Children's Hospital, said “(Choity) had a disease called ‘caudal twinning’ so she’d had part of a twin develop in her perineum.

“This is very rare, many of these children die in the womb or they die soon after birth… when she first presented to us, she had a large part of her leg stump left over… and most of her internal organs were either doubled as part of her twin or in abnormal places.”

Dr Kimber also wanted to ensure Choity was returning home without the need for catheters or being dependent on sanitary aids for the rest of her life.

"We (had) to devise an operation that allows her to live in her local community and not be at risk of sudden infection or death from sudden infection.

“When we started we thought she might end up being incontinent for life, but as we went on we found extra muscles and were able to reconstruct reasonable normal anatomy, and we've been able to achieve way beyond what we expected," he said.

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Now, after many months of planning, operations and recovery, Choity has left hospital and will head home to Bangladesh.

Her mother Shima said, “I want to thank for Children’s First Foundation, Monash Children’s Hospital and Dr Chris Kimber’s team, everyone who helped – everything is good – it is amazing. Back in my country, Bangladesh, the National Trust helps everyone and I thank them for everything.

“I am happy to be going home to see everyone, my family, my husband… and to see (Choity) play.”