6.1.10

Lina Medina - Unbelieveable

I was surfing the net for information about a specific subject for a post when I came across this story and although I am not easily shocked, I could not believe what I was reading, so I immediately decided to rather do a post on this.  First I confirmed that it was not an urban legend as originally it was thought to be a hoax, but the case has been well documented and confirmed by medical evidence.

Little Lina lived with her father, mother and eight siblings in Antacancha, 450 kilometres east of Lima, the capital of Peru.  The shamans in the village became concerned about her belly getting bigger and bigger and asked her father, Tiburcio's permission to perform an exorcism to get rid of "the snake under her belly".  Permission was granted and the ritual was performed.  However this did not have the desired effect and her parents started believing that she was gravely ill with a tumor growing in her stomach.

They then travelled the 70 kilometres to the town of Pisco to Dr Gerardo Lozada who took charge of Lina's preliminary tests.  He immediately noticed the size of her stomach and also thought that it might be a tumor.  However, after evaluating her clinical tests many times and with the scientific thoroughness required by the circumstances, he declared Lina to be 8 months pregnant.  He immediately informed the police who in turn immediately arrested her father, as the prime suspect of having sired the baby.  He was soon released though as no there was no evidence against him. One of Lina's siblings, a mentally disabled, 9 year old, brother was then suspected of fathering the baby but this also could not be proven.

Lina Medina (5 years old and 8 months pregnant)
Dr Lozada admitted the pregnant girl to a clinic in Lima and sent someone to Antacancha to investigate the situation and circumstances there.  He came back with the information that family members confirmed that even before Lina was 4 years old, her breasts had already started developing, she had pubic hair and she had started menstruating.

There was nothing to be done at such a late stage in the pregnancy but to prepare for the imminent birth of the baby.  On 14 May 1939, fittingly on Mother's Day, Lina's 2,7 kg, 48 cm tall, baby was born by cesarean section.  Dr Busalleu was the surgeon and Dr Colretta the anaesthesiologist. The baby boy was named Gerardo after Dr Lozada.


The news of this unprecedented medical event spread like wildfire and it even minimised the relevance of preparations for World War II for a couple of days.  Lina and her baby stayed in the maternity clinic for a period of 11 months during which time she learned to read and write.  The story has it that her family refused all offers of using the girl and her baby for financial gain, but was willing to sign an agreement with the Seltzer Compamy to study the case.  However, Oscar Benavides, president of Peru at the time, enacted a law on the tutelage of Lina and her son under the promise of a grant for life for both.  They never received on penny of this grant.


Lina's parents brought little Gerardo up as Lina's brother but when he was 10 years old, he learned the truth about his birth.  Unfortunately he died at the age of 40 from a bone marrow disease. (It had no connection with his unusual gestation or birth).

As a young adult, she worked as a secretary for Dr Lozada, who saw to her being educated and who also helped her to put Gerardo through high school. 
At the age of 33, Lina married Raul Jurado and spent her married life in "Chicago Chico", a very poor suburb of Lima.  In 1972 she gave birth to another son.  During the 80's her house was demolished to make way for a highway and she did not receive any compensation whatsoever. 

After almost 70 years it is still a mistery as to who fathered Gerardo.  Lina and her husband still lives in poverty and it was reported in the "El Pais" journal that she has only one ambition:  to obtain compensation from her government for the house they demolished.

Most of the information used in this post was found at the blog of Iron Queen and at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lina_Medina

(Quoted from Wikipedia:  "Extreme precocious puberty in children 5 or under is very uncommon; pregnancy and delivery by a child this young remains extremely rare. Extreme precocious puberty is treated to suppress fertility, preserve growth potential, and reduce the social consequences of full sexual development in childhood.)

33 comments:

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Wow!!!

JD said...

Heartbreaking... absolutely heartbreaking on so many levels. It put certain things into perspective for me - it was heartbreaking enough to get pregnant at the age of 11, but 5... can't fathom. My heart goes out to her, what a difficult life. She sounds like a very strong woman, though. I pray she has found peace.

Argent said...

Astonishing story. The variation of the human condition never fails to amaze me.

Kirsty said...

Yup, as a biologist I can confirm that this can happen! It's very sad - but sadder still to think of all the child molestation that happens without ever being uncovered by this kind of medical anomaly. It's even more amazing that she was able to carry the child to term, and deliver it at all.

janis said...

Oh... how horrible! This breaks my heart. :(

A human kind of human said...

Hi All, yes, this really stopped me in my tracks. I find it so sad that after the hardships of her childhood, she had so live out her life in poverty too. I do admire the fact that Dr Lozada took her under his wing though. Must have been quite a man, don't you think?

RNSANE said...

She never did disclose, I guess, who impregnated her. It seems like the only kindness she ever got was from the physician who took her under his wing. Such a tragic story, really, and, to think, that, for all of her life, practically, she was improverished
and will die so.

Deborah said...

I remember reading about this a few years ago - something to do with another, more recent case of precocious puberty and pregnancy. She did have, and has, a hard life, but what is good about this story is how she seemed to be treated at that time. Not discarded or reviled for her situation, but educated and protected to a certain extent.

Gaelyn said...

How very strange.

karen said...

That is quite a story. poor little girl...ive've been catching up, and also enjoyed your positive thoughts on 2010 in SA! Wishing you a great year :)

Shattered said...

I read of this girl some time ago and yes, it is a very sad story. My the secrets she must carry and with that, I can relate... :(

Arley said...

Wow, I had no idea that was possible. That poor girl and her child.

Anonymous said...

wow as a mother and former child just wow i wonder if dna couldve proven the father

teipot said...

I was bored and at the moment I am just procrastinating but then I saw this.. wow I never knew that a kid could do that.
I feel sorry for her, a child of her age.. and in the 30's in a country like that.. she must've been innocent.

Jazmine~ said...

To the anonymous person who commented...

I don't think that would've worked as well as we hope... considering Lina IS related to her father.
Which my best guess is her father doing horrible things to her.
I feel very bad for that girl, she has gone through way to much at a very young age.

kat said...

what a shitty world this is for females

Saeed osman said...

it is really nice to know that things of this nature has not started today, but has been there for atleast a decades.i must say it breaks my heart.and also, i have learn that been a victim of such circumstances shouldn't be an obtacle in onces life, mama lina has desmostrated clearly that even though she was disable, she was not handicap. my only worry now is the inability of the appropraite institution to identify and bring to justice the culprite of this hinious crime to book.

bmkCande said...

Just saw this story today, i did not believe it and i still do not want to believe it, i keep thinking of my 5 year old younger sister. this is just disturbing

vietgamer45 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vietgamer45 said...

Hello, I found out who the actual father of Medina's son was. I was at my college, County College of Morris when I met a Peruvian girl. I asked her if she knew Medina and she said yes. She told me that it was Medina's uncle who raped Medina and got her pregnant.

Anonymous said...

omg i want to knw more bout dis girl,i feel so sry 4 her.
can someone pls tell me more about her?

Anonymous said...

vietgamer45 DNT START A RUMOR

vietgamer45 said...

I am NOT starting a rumor. It was what I was told by the Peruvian girl who went to my college! She was the one who told me so I am only going by what she told me.

Anonymous said...

Its so sad...I asked my history teacher about this but she told me sit down,i'm dying to know more about this incredable little girl.(no comment on the spelling it's fucking freezing here.)

Anonymous said...

I want to know more about this little girl,yet i find it hard to believe that she became pregnant at the age of 5.My daughter has just turned 5 and if anyone touched her or made her pregnant,they'ed be dead NOW.

Anonymous said...

Its a sick sick world we live in. Children have such innocence and I can't imagine what she went through at the time and forever after that. I only prey that today...she is happy and loved xx

Anonymous said...

That is so sad, now I hate being a girl forever... :(

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous

Response to a comment by Anonymous posted in April 3, 2012 6:27 PM

Swearing in this site is rather profane.

Anonymous said...

I read the name in my obstetrics text book... I then googled her...She's down in History as the youngest mother... There isn't a single student in our hospital who at some point, hasn't felt bad for all the 16 and 18 year old pre natals we get... But this is beyond everything I'v ever heard or seen... When'll the world learn, crime against innocent children is a crime against humanity...

Anonymous said...

The doctor beside Lina Medina is my grandfather, Dr. Juan Rolando Colareta Landa (and not Dr. Lozada, as incorrectly shown in this picture that has been posted throughout the internet). I intend to correct this wrong reference. Thank you.

curious said...

Hi if the picture is of your grandfather, why have you not given further information? By no means , do I want to come across rude, I have just read this blogg and am interested if she disclosed any information to her doctors of who the father was.....somebody must know. I struggle to understand why he is not identified.

steven chavez said...

Her father was arrested for the crime but was never charged cause no one pressed charges and medina never spoke out about it.

Anonymous said...

This is just so sad 😭 I cant imagine my little sister going Thu that. It just breaks my heart, she must be the strongest woman ik