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Mermaid Girl

2009 February 8
by Kalyn Schofield

The Parens article titled ‘Surgically Shaping Children’ reminded me of a little girl named Shiloh Pepin who is frequently called the “Mermaid Girl.” She was given a television show on Discovery Health. This show captured her daily life struggles showing how she was biologically born with her feet fused together because of a condition known as “sirenomelia.” This deformity is very rare and often ends in death. Born in Maine of 1999 with her lower extremities fused, a missing bladder, uterus, colon, vagina, one partial kidney and one ovary. The doctor’s didn’t think Shiloh would survive and told the parent’s she only had weeks to live at the most. Right now Shiloh is eight years old and going strong thanks to the multiple surgeries she’s had.

There are so many people in the world that suffer from some sort of unknown medical aliment or another. I find it uplifting to know that some of these deformities can be cured. I understand that not everyone needs a cure because for some there is nothing wrong with them. For instance dwarfs can live perfectly ordinary lives by themselves with almost no medical intervention. The Roloff family for instance is proof of that with their four healthy children.

Roloff Family

The Roloff Family

But I think it is important to progress in science and offer medical treatment for those who want it. People like Shiloh Pepin would not be alive today without medical practices. In her case the decision was made by the parent’s in the early stages to keep their daughter alive by taking the risk of surgery. The recent world wide notice of her condition helps to make people aware that the definition of normal is changing and can take many shapes.

To learn more about Shiloh please visit:



Video Link

3 Responses
  1. cbryant permalink
    March 3, 2009

    I saw the program about Shiloh, I fell in love with the whole family.
    This is one tough little girl, she is a fighter. I purposed in my heart that I would do something each month to help this family. I sure hope it touched others as it did me.

  2. Elizabeth permalink
    March 23, 2009

    she is so strong and i have a heart problem so i know what it feels like to go to the hospital a lot. she is amazing i think everyone should be some what like her because if you have a deffect don’t let that stop you from doing what you love. So Shilo is an amazing girl and i hope she stays healthy.

  3. Elizabeth permalink
    March 23, 2009

    and i know i spelled her name wrong i was rushing

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