We can say that today’s medicine is of an excellent standard. Doctors have modern equipment and knowledge that allows them to diagnose and treat even the most difficult diseases.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t always like this. To save the life and health of a patient, medics had to reach for solutions now recognized as controversial and even unethical. Back then that was the only option, though it was not always effective.
Lina Medina was born in 1934 in one of the most remote and poor villages in Peru, Antacancha. She lived there with her parents and eight brothers. When she was 4 years old, her body began to change, which aroused the interest of both her parents and everyone in the village. Lina’s belly unnaturally expanded and no one knew the cause of this strange disease. Soon there were rumors that an evil demon came into her body and her frightened father took her to the shaman. Magic rituals and spells were cast by sorcerers but it did not help.
The child was hiding a secret.
The girl was only 4 years old and was not aware of the symptoms and the changes taking place in her body. Residents recognized her as possessed, and she could not defend herself in any way or understand what was happening. Her parents eventually decided that their daughter should see a doctor. They suspected that a tumor was growing in her belly and they were afraid that the child may die. They went on foot to Pisco, where they gave her over to Dr. Gerardo Lozada.
He examined the child and quickly passed on to them a quite shocking diagnosis. Lina was 7 months pregnant! A month later a healthy boy was born by a cesarean operation. He weighed 2.7 kilograms and measured 48 cm (6.0 lb; 0.43 st). She could not give birth naturally because of her small physique. The boy was named Gerardo in honor of the doctor who discovered the strange “disease”. The girl was hailed as the world’s youngest mother. When she gave birth she was 5 years, 7 months and 21 days old.
The villagers recognized Lina as the second Mother Mary, and they called Gerardo “sun god”. The then president of Peru, Oscar Benavides, promised them that he would guard them and ensure their prosperity if they would distribute their story. Unfortunately, his promises turned out to be empty.
The story does not end there. Not everyone believed in the virgin birth and they began looking for the baby’s father and examining the phenomenon of the pregnant 4-year-old child. They conducted a study that showed that the small Peruvian girl suffered from a rare developmental disorder.
Her maturation began when she was a few months old. Apparently, at three months old her pubic hair had grown, and before reaching the age of three she began to menstruate. The first mystery was solved, but what about the second one? The father of her son is still not known. Initially, they accused Tiburcio Medina, Lina’s father, of rape and incest, but due to lack of evidence he was released. They also suspected that he r 9-year old brother, who had mental problems, had used her. Neither the girl nor her brother has admitted to anything.