Once Conjoined, Peruvian Girl's Legs are Dancing Away

Nearly three years ago Milagros Cerron was born in the Andean town of Huancayo, Peru with a rare congenital defect, which left her legs connected from her heels to her groin.

Now, just months after undergoing a second operation to fully separate her legs, Milagros is taking ballet lessons.

Milagros, whose first name means "miracles" in Spanish, was seen walking without the help of a doctor for the first time in Lima on Friday.

The so-called "Mermaid Baby" was born with sirenomelia or "mermaid syndrome." Lead Solidarity Hospital Surgeon Luis Rubio, said that doctors successfully recovered Cerron's hips, knees and ankles and that she is "doing well physically" but are still monitoring her progress.

"We are monitoring the state of her kidneys and seeing how they evolve in these years. We have taken an important step, which will help the development of medical science around the world," Rubio said.

Cerron, who turns 3 years old next week, runs around the playground with her nursery schoolmates.

"As I have said in many occasions, I have always been hopeful. I will never lose my hope because I think that's best. She is fighting to keep going every single day, so everything is ok," Milagros' mother Sara Araujo said.

Milagros has a deformed left kidney and a very small right one very low in her body.

In addition, her digestive and urinary tracts and her genitals share a single tube.

Rubio said Milagros would need up to 15 years of corrective surgeries to reconstruct and repair her sexual, digestive as well as other internal organs.

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