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hroughout history, there have been many medical cases that remain a mystery, even for modern medicine. This is mainly due to the fact that there aren’t enough details or empirical evidence in order for medics to make any sense of them. However, the start of the 21st century was met with a medical case like no other, one that has never even been thought of let alone occurred in history.

What you see in the photo above is actually a twin that has been living and growing inside Sanju Bhagat, an Indian farmer who happens to be the twin. For many years specialists thought that the twin brother growing inside Bhagat was actually a tumor that had to be removed. What a surprise it was for everyone when they performed surgery to remove the “tumor” in 1999.

The Hard Life of Sanju Bhagat

Photo of Sanju Baghat in 1999 just before the surgery (Source: Sapna Pabbi)

Bhagat was born in 1963 in the city of Nagpur, India. He lived as a simple farmer most of his life, struggling for a better quality of life just like the average Indian citizen. His childhood was normal and without any medical implications. There were no signs of any “tumor” or pain that would have shown any health complications.

Since his early teenage years, he had to work on a farm and earn a living to feed his family. For most of his life, he had been faced with hard labor. Despite his hard work, it would always be a struggle to bring enough money to properly feed and take care of the family. In his late 20s, his belly started to grow which was quite weird because he wasn’t eating that much and he was always out on the fields working hard.

Once he reached the age of 30 many locals were teasing him by saying that he looked like a pregnant woman in her ninth month of pregnancy. As the years passed, his enlarged belly made his work become harder and harder. Backpains were also a problem from the enlarged belly, but Bhagat was never the type to complain about pain or hardships so he carried on despite the way he was feeling.

He had been told by his family members numerous times to visit a hospital, but he knew that this would mean high costs and taking off time from work which he could not do. Baghat didn’t visit a doctor until 1999 when due to the enlarged belly he wasn’t able to breathe anymore. He was rushed by ambulance to the nearest hospital which was Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

“Basically, the tumor was so big that it was pressing on his diaphragm and that’s why he was very breathless,” (Quote by Dr. Ajay Mehta)

Without giving any second thought, Dr. Ajay Mehta who was on duty at the hospital that day thought that it was a tumor that was causing his belly enlargement. Most doctors would have thought the same as no doctor would ever think it could be a twin. In order to save Bhagat’s life, the tumor had to be taken out as soon as possible, but because of its weird condition, it brought many risks.

“Because of the sheer size of the tumor, it makes it difficult [to operate]. We anticipated a lot of problems.” (Quote by Dr. Ajay Mehta)

It seemed that the tumor was right inside Bhagat’s stomach and weirdly enough it was feeding on the contents inside the stomach. Doctor Mehta was specialized in removing tumors and with years of experience, he was able to detect the exact location of the tumor before starting the operation. Once he had cut open Bhagat’s stomach a lot of fluid came out and he was scared of what he was seeing.

Giving Birth to a Twin Brother

Photo of Sanju Bhagat’s twin brother after the surgery to remove him (Source: Sapna Pabbi)

“To my surprise and horror, I could shake hands with somebody inside,” he said. “It was a bit shocking for me.”(Quote by Dr. Ajay Mehta)

Doctor Mehta realized that this was not a tumor, but a mutated body that was only possible to be a twin brother. The Doctor described his mixed emotions as being confused, amazed, and horrified at the same time. This mutated brother as the medics called it had grown inside Baghat since he was born. The deformed fetus had hair, legs, nails, bones, and a jaw with teeth. Some people may think that Bhagat gave birth to a child, but the medical reasoning behind says otherwise.

At first, specialists thought that this was a case of failed vanishing twin syndrome. This is where during the pregnancy of the mother one of the twins absorbs the embryos, usually causing the baby that is born two to have two sets of DNA, but never to have the absorbed embryos grow in them years later.

The best medical term to describe what happened here is an extremely rare condition called fetus in fetu. Fetus in fetu is a rare condition that has been defined as the presence of one of the twins in the body of the other. There had only been one other known case in the late 19th century where a mother thought she had given an early birth to her baby, but it was actually her twin.

Although this case is quite different, it is the best way to describe it in order to make some sort of sense. If Bhagat’s twin was to be left in his stomach he would have kept on assimilating and growing, but sooner or later his growth would have killed Bhagat. Just imagine the physiological effects of hearing that you have an unborn brother live inside you for most of your life. If the doctors were shocked then Bhagat surely suffered from some mental disorders.

After the surgery, Bhagat was able to recover and live on, but his twin brother died very soon after being removed from his organism. Why exactly did this happen is still unknown to medics and Bhagat didn’t accept any further analysis to be done on his body after his recovery

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