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Baby in China Born with 31 Fingers Seeks Surgery

May 06, 2016 11:43 AM EDT
Bilateral polydactyly with short fingers in Ellis-van Creveld syndrome patient
Polydactyly refers to extra digits - in the hands or feet.
(Photo : Wikimedia/Baujat G, Le Merrer M.)

A mother in China was shocked after her baby came out her womb with 15 fingers and 16 toes.

Born January this year in Pingjiang County in Hunan province, Hong Hong is diagnosed with polydactylism or polydactyly.

His condition was inherited from her mother who was also born with six fingers and toes. In an interview with People's Daily, Zou Chengling, the father of the four-month old baby said they were worried that the baby would inherit the same condition so they went to several hospitals for checkups.

Despite hospitals not finding any birth defect during scans, they were surprised when Hong Hong came out with polydactylism.

Polydactylism refers to extra digits in the hands or feet. The National Genome Research Institute says the extra digits may be small and non-functional or they may be fully formed with bones and skeletal connections. While researchers are yet tolearns more about the genes that lead to the congenital anomaly, they have confirmed that the trait may be inherited in family. Halle Berry and Oprah Winfrey are reported to have this syndrome.

Animals are also not safe from having this condition.

Doctors have told the couple that Hong Hong's condition can be treated because his bones are still not set. However, he can only undergo surgery once he is already old enough to receive anaesthesia, Staitstimes notes.

The doctors explained that the surgery can be quite complicated because aside from removing excess ingers, the doctors also have to create opposable thumbs for Hong Hong as he was also born with no thumbs.

According to CNN, the surgery could cost as much as 200,000 Chinese yuan (about $30,000).

The couple initially thought of crowdfunding efforts via the Internet. After raising more than 40,000 yuan (more than $6,000), they decided to stop the online project because of the criticism they got from Netizens.

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