A mother has died from severe malnutrition after carrying an unborn foetus for around nine years inside her body.
Scans revealed the 50-year-old had a ‘stone baby’ — a calcified fetus — compressed her intestines, which was attributed to a miscarriage nine years prior.
The foetus, which would have been the woman’s ninth child, stopped developing inside her at 28 weeks.
But instead of miscarrying, she suffered the condition known as lithopedion.
The condition occurs when pregnancy forms in the abdomen instead of the uterus.
It is an ectopic pregnancy, a term for all pregnancies where the embryo begins to form in the wrong part of the body.
In cases of lithopedion, not enough blood supply reaches the baby, causing the pregnancy to fail.
The patient refused treatment, saying she believed her health condition was related to a ‘spell’ that someone cast on her in Africa.
The woman died 14 months after arriving in the United States.
Doctors said she died from severe malnutrition, or starvation.
For this woman, the ‘stone baby’ kept compressing the intestine. This caused blockages, meaning her body was no longer able to absorb vital nutrients, leading to starvation.