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Health & Medicine 82-Year-Old Grandma with Stomach Pain Found with 40-Year-Old Fetus

82-Year-Old Grandma with Stomach Pain Found with 40-Year-Old Fetus

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First Posted: Dec 13, 2013 11:31 AM EST
stone baby
A lithopedion. This highly unusual specimen remained in the abdomen of a woman for 55 years. During this time the mother had five additional uncomplicated pregnancies. (Photo : wikipedia )

An 82-year-old Colombian woman was rushed to the hospital after complaining of abdominal pains, when doctors found that she was carrying a 40-year-old fetus inside her stomach.

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The woman suffers from a rare medical condition known as lithopaedion, or in more common terms a 'stone baby.' When this happens, the fetus does not develop in the uterus because it is moved elsewhere.

According to NTD, Dr. Kemer Ramirez of Bogota's Tumjunelito Hospital who oversaw the woman's health issue for what was suspected to be gallstones, he states, according to the Daily Mail, that "this happens because the fetus does not develop in the uterus because it has moved to another place. In this case, the abdominal part of the woman is not a viable (place) and this is what happened, a calcified fetus because of the body is generating defense mechanisms and it is calcified until it stays there encapsulated."

If a dead fetus becomes too large, it is then re-absorbed by the mother's body or it becomes a foreign body to the mother's immune system. To protect her from possible infection, the mother's body will encase the fetus in a calciferous substance  that is gradually mummified and becomes a stone baby. Lithopedions may occur from 14 weeks' gestation to full term. It's also not unusal for a stone baby to remain undiagnosed for decades and found incidentally through certain pains or health tests.

Only approximately one in 11,000 pregnancies develop into a 'stone baby,' which many female carriers may be unaware of.

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