Photo credit: AP/World Wide Photo
Ricardo and Sara, a young couple, fell in love, got married and planned to start a family. When Sara got pregnant, they had planned to give birth to the baby in their home. However, when Sara went into labor she was in too much pain, so they rushed to a hospital. There, after a very difficult labor, the unthinkable happened: Sara and Ricardo's baby was born with sirenomelia, also known as "mermaid syndrome." This is a strange genetic disorder where the legs of an infant are fused together like a fish's tail.
In Huancayo, there is actually a legend that explained this condition! It says that if a pregnant woman lies down close to a nearby lake, the spirit of a mermaid will enter her body and give her unborn child some of her characteristics.
After her baby was born, doctors prevented Sara from seeing her. Later, when Ricardo first saw the new child, he says he was upset. He says he asked himself, "Why has God sent me this? What sin did I commit? What have I done wrong for my baby to come out like this?"
Immediately the baby was transferred to a hospital with an intensive care unit. Her abnormalities' severity soon became clear: not only were her legs fused together, she had no external genitals. Ricardo and Sara refused to give up hope for their daughter, who they named Milagros, which means "miracles" in Spanish.