PORTLAND, ME – Shiloh Pepin, known the world over as ‘Mermaid Girl”, has sadly passed away.
Shiloh was born with sirenomelia, also known as “Mermaid Syndrome.” Children are born with their legs fused together, which looks like a mermaid’s tail.
It is not the fusing of the legs, but a host of other medical problems that leaves few survivors, usually problematic kidney and bladder development.
A few patients have made it past infancy, including Shiloh. Born with only 6 inches of large colon, a kidney a quarter of the normal size, and missing a bladder and uterus, Shiloh was expected to survive for only a few months.
However, after a kidney transplant at the age of two, she was able to live for a number of years. She was considered a hero to disabled children, and made appearances on shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as an hour-long TLC special.
She was one of only three known survivors of sirenomelia who lived without surgical leg separation, however it was considered impossible for her to live to adulthood without the surgery. She passed away after a fight with pneumonia.