"Baby Lakshmi" Goes Home

A two-year-old girl who was born with four arms and four legs left a hospital in southern India on Saturday little more than a month after surgeons there successfully removed her extra limbs.

The surgeon who led more than 30 doctors in the marathon surgery said Lakshmi was making good progress and should be mobile soon.

"Lakshmi is fine and stable," chief surgeon Dr. Sharan Patil told The Associated Press. "She should face no problem in walking."

Lakshmi was born joined at the pelvis to a "parasitic twin" that stopped developing in her mother's womb. The surviving fetus absorbed the limbs, kidneys and other body parts of the undeveloped twin.

A team of more than 30 surgeons performed a 24-hour operation on Nov. 7 at the Sparsh hospital in Bangalore, the capital of southern Karnataka state. They removed the extra limbs, transplanted a kidney from the twin and reconstructed Lakshmi's pelvic area.

"Lakshmi is a hero," Patil said Saturday.

"Lakshmi, who never turned (over) earlier, started turning after the surgery. She was even able to stand for 10 minutes on the bed holding the window grill, which is remarkable," the Press Trust of India news agency quoted Patil as saying.

Lakshmi's parents said they were taking her back to their rural village in eastern Bihar state, where she had been revered by some as an incarnation of the four-armed Hindu goddess she was named after.

On their way home from the hospital, reported CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer Monday, Lakshmi's family stopped at a Hindu temple to offer prayers of thanks for what, a short time ago, had seemed out of reach for their little daughter -- a normal life.

In the days after the operation, Patil had admitted to The Early Show's Dave Price, "I was by no means certain I could fix this."

On Monday, Patil told The Early Show's Russ Mitchell by phone from Bangalore that, "Fortunately, things went all very smoothly, (with the healing) of the wounds and the functioning of different organs. We did not have any particular difficulty."

He confirmed she can stand up with support, adding, "She's rolling over, which is a big milestone. And she's moving her limbs very effectively. (She should be) walking in the weeks to come."

Lakshmi will need more surgery for issues such as clubbed feet, but nothing urgent, Patil told Mitchell.

Patil described her as a very "sharp, very bright little girl, and she is catching up with her milestones. ... She has a bright future, I would think."
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