The complication has left two-month-old Gilang Andika, from Batam, a city in Indonesia, looking disfigured and suffering from a potentially fatal brain condition called hydrocephalus, which is causing fluid to build up in his brain.
Gilang has just one body with two arms and two legs. On his head, he has the face and brain of a sibling which did not grow its own body in the womb, because their mother’s egg did not completely split in two during pregnancy.
Because of his rare predicament, Gilang cannot be breastfed, so has to be fed milk through a tube.
And doctors have said he is not likely to live long because of his condition.
His parents, Ernilasari and Mustafa, now desperately want help to save their son’s life after local doctors told them they were unable to operate. They want to seek treatment for Gilang, but they don’t have the money.
Mother Ernilasari and father Mustafa did not know about their son’s serious illness until he was born by Caesarean section.
During her pregnancy Ernilasari said she did not feel anything strange, and doctors at the Chamata Sahidiya Panbil Hospital did not notice the problem despite three ultrasound scans.
‘The doctor just said the baby’s head is enlarged and he is in breech position,’ Ernilasari said.
Now Gilang’s parents are desperate to find a way to separate their child’s head, as the abnormality has caused health problems for the little one.
To cure Gilang will likely involve risky surgery that will see one of his brains and faces, then part of his skull removed.