Saturday, 14 May 2011

Lina Medina

Lina Medina (born September 27, 1933, in Ticrapo, Huancavelica Region, Peru) is the youngest confirmed mother in medical history, giving birth at the age of five years, seven months and 17 days. She now lives in Lima, Peru.

Early development

Born in Ticrapo, Peru, Medina was brought to a hospital by her parents at the age of five years due to increasing abdominal size. She was originally thought to have had a tumor, but her doctors determined she was in her seventh month of pregnancy. Dr. Gerardo Lozada took her to Lima, Peru, prior to the surgery to have other specialists confirm that Medina was pregnant.
A month and a half later, on May 14, 1939, she gave birth to a boy by a caesarean section necessitated by her small pelvis. The surgery was performed by Dr. Lozada and Dr. Busalleu, with Dr. Colareta providing anaesthesia. Her case was reported in detail by Dr. Edmundo Escomel in the medical journal La Presse Médicale, including the additional details that her menarche had occurred at eight months of age (or 2½ according to a different article) and that she had prominent breast development by the age of four. By age five, her figure displayed pelvic widening and advanced bone maturation. When doctors performed the caesarean to deliver her baby, they found she already had fully mature sexual organs from precocious puberty.

Her son

Medina's son weighed 2.7 kg (6.0 lb; 0.43 st) at birth and was named Gerardo after her doctor. Gerardo was raised believing that Medina was his sister, but found out at the age of 10 that she was his mother. He grew up healthy but died in 1979 at the age of 40 of a bone marrow disease.

Later life

Medina never revealed the father of the child nor the circumstances of her impregnation. Dr. Escomel suggested she might not actually know herself by writing that Medina "couldn't give precise responses". Medina's father was arrested on suspicion of rape and incest, but was later released due to lack of evidence.
In young adulthood, she worked as a secretary in the Lima clinic of Dr. Lozada, who gave her an education and helped put her son through high school. Medina later married Raúl Jurado, who fathered her second son in 1972. As of 2002, they lived in a poor district of Lima known as "Chicago Chico" ("Little Chicago"). She refused an interview with Reuters that year.


There are two published photographs documenting the case. The first was taken around the beginning of April 1939, when Medina was seven and a half months into pregnancy. Taken from Medina's left side, it shows her standing naked in front of a neutral backdrop. This is the only published photograph of Lina taken during her pregnancy.
This photograph is of significant value because it documents her condition and the extent of her physiological development. The other photograph is of far greater clarity and was taken a year later in Lima when Gerardo was eleven months old.
Although the case was called a hoax by some, a number of doctors over the years have verified it based on biopsies, X rays of the fetal skeleton in utero, and photographs taken by the doctors caring for her. Extreme precocious puberty in children 5 or under is very uncommon; pregnancy and delivery by a child this young remains extremely rare. Extreme precocious puberty is treated to suppress fertility, preserve growth potential, and reduce the social consequences of full sexual development in childhood.

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