A 82-year-old woman went to the hospital with stomach pain and doctors discovered something astounding: she was carrying a 40-year-old fetus.
The dead, calcified fetus is a very rare instance of a lithopedion, or "stone baby," which results from an ectopic pregnancy where a fetus is conceived outside the uterus in the abdomen.
In some cases when an abdominal fetus dies, the mother's body calcifies it in order to protect the rest of the body from infection. The chances of abdominal pregnancy are estimated at one in every 11,000, and lithopedic pregnancies account for less than 2% of these.
The Colombian woman will undergo surgery to have the mass removed, international news media reported.
Only about 300 cases of lithopedia are accounted for in medical literature. The earliest on record happened in France, in 1582. In that case, doctors discovered during an autopsy of a 68-year-old woman that she had carried a stone baby for an estimated 28 years.
Women carrying a lithopedion often remain unaware unless, as in the new case, a complication emerges.
Doctors at Tunjuelito Hospital in Bogota initally suspected the unnamed woman was suffering from gastroenteritis. They announced the finding December 9.
Read more: 40-year-old fetus found in 82-year-old woman: report* - NY Daily News