Elderly Chilean woman carries 60-year-old fetus

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Elderly Chilean Woman Carries 60-Year-Old Fetus


As if nine months of pregnancy didn't already seem like an eternity, doctors made an amazing discovery -- a 91-year-old Chilean woman has been carrying a fetus for over 60 years.

Estela Melendez, a resident of the coastal Chilean town La Boca, recently suffered a fall that brought her into the hospital for X-rays.

"The doctor said I had a tumor and that they needed to operate on me," Melendez told CNN.

Yet when a second X-ray was ordered, doctors discovered the mass wasn't a tumor at all, but a calcified fetus.

"Can you imagine? More than 60 years!" said the woman's nephew, Luis Melendez.

Doctors have decided not to operate on Melendez because surgery is considered more risky than doing nothing at all. Meléndez has a lump on her abdomen and told CNN it hurts sometimes, but more often than not it's just uncomfortable.

It isn't the first jaw-dropping story of its kind.

Two years ago, an 82-year-old Colombian woman gained worldwide notoriety after carrying a calcified four-pound fetus for decades without realizing it.

According to Medical Daily, the condition is called lithopedion and occurs when a fetus dies and calcifies outside of the womb. Only around 400 cases have been documented in history.

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