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Mermaid Girl Dies Aged 10

Mermaid Girl Dies Aged 10

Shiloh Pepin a girl who was born with mermaid syndrome (sirenomelia), has died aged 10…

Shiloh Pepin, a girl who was born with fused legs, a rare condition often called “mermaid syndrome,” has died aged 10.

At birth, doctors predicted she would only survive for matter of days, however, the young girl, described by her mother as a “tough little thing” died at Maine Medical Center on Friday 23rd.

Hospital spokesman John Lamb said, she had been hospitalized in critical condition for nearly a week.

Pepin had gained an international following after telling her story through several clips on the Internet, and appearing on nationwide TV programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show.


Being born with “mermaid syndrome,” also known as sirenomelia, meant that Pepin had only one partially working kidney, no lower colon or genital organs and legs fused from the waist down.

Some children born with sirenomelia are able to have surgery to separate the legs, but Pipen could not because vital blood vessels crossing from one side to another would have been severed.

During her short life, she had received two kidney transplants, the last one in 2007. But earlier this month, mother Leslie, said her daughter came down with a cold that quickly turned into pneumonia. At that point Pepin was rushed to Maine Medical Center and placed on antibiotics and a ventilator.

For a while, Leslie Pepin said, things were looking up. “She’s a tough little thing,” she said of her daughter earlier this week.

Shiloh was a fifth-grader at Kennebunkport Consolidated School. Maureen King, chairwoman of the board of the regional school district, said, “she was such a shining personality in that building,” adding that counselors would be available to talk to students.

Through the television shows, news articles, Facebook and other Web sites, Shiloh inspired many. 12-year-old Lydia Dawley wrote to Shiloh on Facebook.

“I live in Iowa. I have cerebral palsy. I love your video. You have a great personality I wish you lived close so we could be friends and hang out. You opened my eyes because you are so brave.”

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