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

LA BOCA, Chile — Doctors in the small Chilean town of La Boca have found a calcified fetus in the uterus of an elderly woman who says she never realized she got pregnant.

Estela Meléndez, 91, says she has had a lump on her belly for many years, but had no idea that she was carrying a fetus. Doctors say it has been in her uterus for over six decades. The fetus is calcified and poses no health risk to the woman.

Meléndez has difficulty hearing and in recent years her gait has been slowed by arthritis. But otherwise she’s doing fine. She’s a resident of La Boca, a town located where the Rapel River meets the Pacific Ocean in the municipality of Navidad.

It was not until she recently suffered a fall that doctors spotted something on her X-ray that caused concern.

“The doctor said I had a tumor and that they needed to operate on me,” Meléndez told CNN. But when a second X-ray was ordered to confirm, doctors couldn’t believe their eyes. The mass they were looking at turned out not to be a tumor, but a fetus.

“I have the lump here,” Meléndez says, touching her belly.


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