One-year-old Milagros Cerron celebrates her birthday in a Lima, Peru, public hospital. She was born with a congenital defect known as sirenomelia, or “mermaid syndrome.” There are only three known cases of children with the affliction alive today. (Daryl Hanna wore prosthetics in Splash.) In two months, doctors will begin a series of operations to separate her legs, which are fused down to the heels. Meanwhile, her bizarre first-birthday party went off without a hitch.
Wearing a blue dress with white stars and a princess’ crown, Milagros Cerron giggled and bounced in her doctor’s arms. A glittery show girl sang a techno-tinged version of “Happy Birthday,” accompanied by a keyboard player and a dancing actor in a Winnie-the-Pooh costume.