Shiloh Jade Pepin was born in 1999 in Kennebunkport, Maine, America and suffered from Sirenomelia,, or the Mermaid Syndrome of which she at the age of ten. She is also known as the real mermaid as her legs were conjoined together making it look like a mermaid’s tail. The mermaid syndrome is found in one out of a million live births and mostly results in death within a few days.
Mermaid Syndrome is a very rare congenital deformity in which the legs are fused together, giving them the appearance of a mermaid’s tail. She was born without a bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum. Her colon was only 6 inches and she only had a quarter of a kidney. Her kidneys failed when she was a hardly 3 months. She went through two kidney transplants. Shiloh went to a Consolidated Elementary School and was very hopeful about her condition getting better.
Shiloh was a happy kid and lived her life to the fullest. She participated in whatever activities she could despite her severe physical challenges. Her family constantly debated about the need for a surgery but never went for one. People with this disease usually go through a surgery when they are young but by the time her parents gave it a thought she had turned 8. She is one of the three survivors of the mermaid syndrome without going through a surgery. Her death occurred because of pneumonia in the year 2009. She appeared in the popular documentary “Extraordinary people: Mermaid Girl”, the Oprah Winfrey Show and had gain a lot of support and admiration through social media as well.
At the time of her birth the doctors had predicted that she won’t be able to survive for more than a few days. When Shiloh Pepin survived more than anybody could have imagined, her case was immediately given to Dr. Matt Hand who first examined her when she was born. Shiloh’s parents felt that Mr. Hand treated Shiloh as a little girl who needs help and not as a medical mystery .
However, Shiloh made it to ten years as her mother describes her as “a tough little thing”. People in her school describe her as a “shining personality” as she never let her disabilities come in her way of progress as a student or as a child. She made her wheelchair a support instead of seeing it as an obstacle. She loved to have people around her and insisted her parents to have house parties now and then. Shiloh’s friends remember her as a spunky girl full of life and a love for butterflies. She loved to laugh and made her surroundings cheerful. It was a unique sight for her family and friends to see her swim as everybody had started calling her a mermaid. Shiloh even took ballet lessons. Her mother felt that people had accepted her daughter the way she was and never got perturbed because of her, in fact she was helped by people around her in whatever way they could.
Shiloh Pepin – Mermaid Girl (Pictures)