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5-Year-Old's Suspected Tumor Was Actually A Baby

Lina Medina of Peru shocked everyone when she gave birth at age 5, but doctors were amazed when they discovered that she had fully-developed sex organs inside of her due to an extremely rare condition.

On May 14, 1939, at the age of 5, Medina gave birth to a healthy 6-pound boy, reports The Sun.

When her stomach began growing, doctors assumed that it was caused by a tumor. However, tests confirmed that she was seven months pregnant.

Given her immature pelvis, the baby was delivered via Caesaerean section. The child was named Gerardo in honor of the doctor who delivered him.

Medina's father was arrested on suspicion of rape, but was never convicted of any crime, and Medina never revealed the true identity of the father.

Her pregnancy was attributed to a medical condition known as "precocious puberty," defined by the Mayo Clinic as being "when a child's body begins changing into that of an adult (puberty) too soon." The Clinic's website explains:

Puberty that begins before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys is considered precocious puberty. Puberty includes rapid growth of bones and muscles, changes in body shape and size, and development of the body's ability to reproduce. The cause of precocious puberty often can't be found. Rarely, certain conditions, such as infections, hormone disorders, tumors, brain abnormalities or injuries, may cause precocious puberty. Treatment for precocious puberty typically includes medication to delay further development.

Although the Medina case has often been considered a hoax, it was widely reported at the time by reputable media outlets. Time magazine, for example, covered it in 1939, and mentioned the case again in a 1957 story about a 9-year-old mother named Hilda Trujillo, also of Peru.

Medina got married and gave birth to her second son in 1972, 33 years after Gerardo was born, reports the website Rare Historical Photos.

Gerardo died in 1979 at age 40.

Sources: The Sun, Mayo Clinic, Time, Rare Historical Photos / Photo credit: Rare Historical Photos

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