Doctor finds foot growing in brain of infant


A pediatric brain surgeon Colorado Springs, Colorado was operating on a 3-day-old baby and found a foot growing in his brain.

"The foot literally popped out of the brain," Grabb told TheDenverChannel Wednesday.

The appendage threatened the newborn's life.

When [Dr. Paul] Grabb performed the life-saving surgery at Memorial Hospital for Children in Colorado Springs, he was in for another surprise: he also found what appeared to be parts of an intestine in the folds of the infant's tiny brain, in addition to another developing foot, hand and thigh.

Colorado doctor finds foot in newborn's brain (via Arbroath)


  1. This was part of the plot in Stephen King’s book “The Dark Half” wherein a partially formed twin was removed from a child’s brain, only to return later as a psycho killer.

  2. *hurk*




    Sorry about the mess, someone get me a unicorn please.

    -abs desperately wishes his wife didn’t find stuff like this cool, it makes him nauseous to even think about a person growing inside of another person. *hurk*

  3. I’m pretty sure that a foot turning up inside an infant’s head is one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. I believe the next sign has something to do with a head of state being victimized by a geoduck or was that the previous sign?

  4. From the article:

    “Sam’s mom, Tiffnie, told TheDenverChannel on Wednesday that her son is doing well but that she didn’t want to appear on camera because she doesn’t want to exploit her child and make him appear like a freak in the eyes of the world.”

    The media has finally found a responsible parent!

    And while you’re all typing your clever onomonopeia, don’t actually consider that this is a child who’s in a life-or-death situation thru no fault of his own. Of course, asking for sensitivity on teh internets is equally pointless, but we all have our windmills to tilt.

  5. it makes him nauseous to even think about a person growing inside of another person.

    You must mean anywhere else than in the womb? ;)

    I’m glad that the kid was okay, but I’m feeling a bit queasy right now. I’ll never think of the expression ‘brain child’ the same way…

  6. Hope someone’s got samples of the DNA of some of these removed parts. Understanding how this could happen helps our understanding of how to prevent it.

    Otherwise, I’m with y’all — Eeeeeeew!

  7. how good and pleasing medicine has advanced to the point that this infant’s life can be saved. Let us hope for a complete recovery.

  8. The child is recovering well, and according to mother,,,”,,,it’s a miracle.” No, that would be years of training and experience on the part of the surgical team, unless she meant the extra bits.

  9. @Tak

    No kidding. This is a pretty sobering story, even if you can shut out the “omg this is really happening to actual people” factor.

  10. Holy Crap.

    Holy Freaking Crap.

    I see this as being very sci-fi. So many avenues for excited plot shell here. A host/parasite scenario wherein the parasite duplicates the host, using the hosts body as an incubator. Or perhaps a “shedding of skin” scenario, where the person (actually alien) begins to grow another one of itself inside of itself, eventually pushing the old body away completely to make room for a new one. All inside the head of the old.

    Some very climax-of-Akira-esque images running around my brain right now.

  11. I have an unopened Yoplait Thick & Creamy Peaches and Cream sitting here on my desk.

    I think I’m going to need a unicorn before I can open it.

  12. I’m actually surprised this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often. I was under the impression that every cell contained the instructions to construct the whole body and even other species from which we’ve evolved. I better go reread Matt Ridley’s Genome and a probably a basic bio text while I’m at it. It’s been awhile.

  13. Boing Boing joining supermarket checkout isle sensationalist press.

    Next: Elvis lives, and will be writing a guest blog.

    1. Next: Elvis lives, and will be writing a guest blog.

      Thanks. I’ll pass that suggestion on to the appropriate people.

  14. ok. I hate myself for even thinking this, but:

    “Honey? Got something on your mind?”

    “My brother…”

    I’m so, so sorry.

  15. @Sekino in #24

    Nah, I’m pretty grossed out by the growing in a womb thing too.

    Reminds me of the movie Alien.

    -abs is not a fan of kids or anything related to them, except maybe practicing the making them part, and wishes nothing but the best for this kid while at the same time wishing he’d never run across this story

  16. parts of an intestine in the folds of the infant’s tiny brain, in addition to another developing foot, hand and thigh

    I’ve heard about having your head up your ass, but your ass (and then some!) in your head?

  17. These siamese twinning cases happen probablly as often as identical twins themselves happen, it is merely that the development does not carry through as often as more subtle absorption of the twin.

    A friend of mine hade a bump near his temple removed, biopsy showed hair and teeth. So was it an aborbed twin, or merely some of his own stuff that got misplaced (hair and teeth are relatively close by)

  18. EEEEEK Descolada.

    Poor kid.

    All of you Sci-Fiers: In Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide, there is a disease that affects humans when they land on a planet called Lusitania.

    People beplagued with it start growing feet out of their chest and toes from their arms and very possibly feet in their brains. Basically, the disease affected DNA itself, unzipping it and inserting its own protocols, then inspiring all the itty bitty cells to go haywire.


  19. Wow. It always amazes me that things work correctly as often as they do and that stuff like this is not more common. Also, I’m with Takuan on this–modern medicine is awesome. I hope all goes well with Mom and the Kid.

    In the meantime, I’m hungry. Who wants lunch?

  20. As a recently minted parent of a healthy baby, I can only imagine how hard it would be to have a sick one with unexplained growths in his head. My heart goes out to the family.

    I’m glad the baby is well, and hope he continues to be. I also hope that they have medical insurance to help them with this, because brain surgery is expensive.

    It would be really terrible if the family went through all of this, had a healthy baby, but was now crushed with debt because of the messed up American health system.

    Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head!

  21. @33 gainclone: Read Theodore Sturgeon, “The Girl Had Guts.” Recently re-anthologized!

    Tak and Threefjeff–eventually science will progress to the point where we not only save the kid, but the foot as well, and grow it into a whole person. (Whoa, boy, pro-life controversies coming!)

  22. Rejoice! More evidence of the beautiful plan that The Intelligent Designer has made for us. Because of course an almighty being would design shit just for us. But yes, this is just more evidence of how god’s grandeur is all around, and his wonderful… ah fuck it life is weird.

  23. Tak, Antinous – “the Ghost might be…The King?”
    …has anyone been keeping a log of when the Ghost turns up?
    do its appearances correllate with mention of cake? or with invokation of icanhascheezburger .com ??

  24. Kakcoo, I’m sorry, but I had to remove your comment. It was doing Something Weird to the thread. Want to try that again?

  25. yet another distinction: the only blog comment thread that channels The King. Unpredictably of course, like any real paranormal phenomena.

  26. I’m a med student – please let me rant about the amazing elasticity of the brain.

    This kid has very good chances! An infant can have his cerebrum practically shredded and expect a full recovery. Entire lobes have been removed to no ill effect, so long as the cerebellum or sensory centers aren’t irreparably damaged; such is our neurological capacity to rewire!

    Honestly the child is in greater danger of infection and the like.

  27. I’ll add that while this could be a brain tumor, the intestines and PAIRED feet points more toward conjoined twins.

    I’m just a student, but I have had embryology and am relatively sure there isn’t a third option…

    …know to science! Bwa-ha-ha-ha.

    The positive outlook also illustrates the boggling speed of neuronal growth at this age. This infant is doubling his brain matter every week. It had better be elastic!

  28. What if this foot’s DNA matches one of the feet that have washed up on the coastline of British Columbia? That would be even creepier.

  29. Well just imagine!! – Pop them in the freezer now – and if you ever have a industrial accident and need a new foot popped on – hey-presto – pre-grown!!

    Not all of us are born with a selection of spare parts – I think its a great idea – I need some new lungs about now …

  30. My first wife had a ”tumor” removed from her womb, along with the womb, when she was 25 years old. She had suffered undefined ”female trouble” for a year. The docs expected a malignancy but were startled to find an encapsulated ”twin” of the sort described in the post. She handled that news better than she did the fact of the hysterectomy itself. I had looked on horrors before without much effect, but I declined an offer to look on the specimen.

    The ones who were wigged out were … her mother and father.

  31. 1 in 500,000 births, and only 90 reported cases. That means there are 10,000 unreported cases out there. Any of you could have an extra foot, eyeball, nose, or whatever, in unexpected parts of your body. How’s that for a nightmare tonight?

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