She became pregnant when she was 24-years-old. Doctors warned her that the pregnancy was ectopic and would likely end in miscarriage. But she was terrified of an operation, and so she fled the hospital. The only treatment she received was from a small clinic near her hometown to relieve the pain. It subsided, and she believed she was done with the unsuccessful pregnancy.
That was nearly four decades ago, in 1978. Now that woman, Kantabai Thakre of central India, is 60-years-old. Last week, the pains returned, so she went to visit doctors at the NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences in the city of Nagpur.
Doctors found a lump on the right side of her abdomen and ran an MRI test for what they thought may be cancer. Nope. It turns out the hard mass inside of Thakre was the skeleton of her unborn child.
“It was after the patient underwent a MRI that the doctors could make out that the mass was in fact a child’s skeleton,” head of surgery Dr. Murtaza Akhtar told the Times of India.
Doctors have now removed the skeleton. They searched through records to confirm that this may be the longest recorded instance of ectopic pregnancy, a condition in which an embryo implants somewhere other than the uterus, often becoming lodged in one of the Fallopian tubes. The longest recorded before this case was only 18 years, a period doubled by Thakre’s 36 years.