“Mermaid Syndrome” is a condition that strikes 1 in 100,000 infants. Mermaid Syndrome is also called sirenomelia. Shiloh Pepin was born with Mermaid Syndrome and now it has taken her life at ten-years-old.
AOL News has posted an article titled “10-Year-Old Born With Fused Legs Dies.”
When Shiloh was born it was felt by the medical community that she would live just a few days. Obviously she lived much longer.
What is “Mermaid Syndrome?”
In Shiloh Pepin’s case her legs were fused together giving the appearance of a fish-tail. Further she had only one partially functioning kidney, no genitalia and no lower colon.
Earlier this month Shiloh got a cold that soon turned to pneumonia. She was put on a ventilator and at first it seemed that she was improving. However, she ultimately died.
Shiloh had become popular and an inspiration by appearing on such television shows as Oprah Winfrey.
An example of her inspiration was illustrated by a 12-year-old girl who wrote her and said that she inspired her and she wished they lived close to one another to “hang out.”
What can we learn from Shiloh?
At her school counselors will be on call to help students deal with her death. She was loved by students and teachers alike.
It seems that people who have to live with their “disadvantages” in public are more willing to share.
When I was Shiloh’s age it was 1959. In those days any student who wasn’t “perfect” was not allowed to come to public school.
As a result there was a youngster in my neighborhood who couldn’t go to my school because he was in a wheelchair.
However, in our neighborhood he was absolutely loved. He had an amazing sense of humor.
When we played football he would be the referee. When we played baseball he would be the umpire. And sometimes we had to defend him because he could get to be pretty wise.
Because of the condition he had he died when he was 16-years-old. However by then he was in our school system and we set it up that he could enjoy the junior prom. He “made” the event.
What is my point?
All people have something to give to society. In fact if we were more careful about how we handled our true “human resources,” if we would pay more attention to folks who are challenged, we would have a different world.
I have linked to a video of Shiloh.
I am confident Shiloh is happy right now.