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Woman learns she has carried fetus in her uterus for more than 60 years

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LA BOCA, Chile — Doctors in Chile made a shocking discovery when a 91-year-old woman went to the hospital.

They thought Estela Meléndez had a tumor, but when a second x-ray was ordered to confirm, doctors realized that the tumor was actually a fetus.

For Meléndez and her family, it’s been quite a shock. Meléndez became a widow in January when Manuel Gonzalez, her one and only husband for 74 years, died. The couple never had children.

Upon further inspection, doctors now say the fetus has been in the elderly woman’s uterus for more than 60 years.

Doctors at the local clinic considered surgery at first to remove the fetus, but later determined that, in this case, operating on a 91-year-old patient was riskier than doing nothing at all. Doctors say the fetus is calcified and poses no risk.

Meléndez says it hurts sometimes, but more often than not, it’s just an uncomfortable lump.  On a deeper level, she says, the lump in her belly reminds her of her recently departed husband and their unfulfilled dream of having a child, all those years ago.

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