A eight-month-old boy born to migrant worker parents from the village of Zhongping in Pingjiang County, in Central China’s Hunan Province, has been identified by aliases such as Hong Hong and Yuan Yuan, have 15 fingers and 16 toes – but no thumbs on either palm. The child suffers from a severe case of polydactyly, which causes the extra digits.
While polydactyly occurs in an estimated one in every 1,000 cases, serious cases like this are rare.
His mum also has one extra finger on each hand, which may explain how the infant inherited the condition. But unlike his mum, Hong Hong’s case is much more urgent in that it will affect whether or not he can walk properly in the future.
After hearing about the boy’s case, the No. 6 Hospital of Ningbo City, in East China’s Zhejiang Province, agreed to reduce the family’s medical costs – estimated as high as 500,000 RMB (57,786 GBP) – and have since admitted the infant for the triple-phase corrective surgery.
According to the hospital’s resident doctor Xu Jihai, the operations will involve cutting off the boy’s extra fingers and toes and eventually reshaping his remaining digits.
The high-risk surgeries will deal with his bones, joints, skin, nails as well as critical veins, making them not only challenging, but also requiring an extensive post-op recovery regime.
The first phase of the infant’s treatment has already been completed, reports said, with medics performing surgery on his feet.
If all goes according to plan, all three stages should be complete before the boy starts school, while the hospital has also promised follow-up treatments for him for the next 16 years as he grows.