A man, appearing to be pregnant at a cursory glance, carried his twin inside him unknowingly for over three decades. Throughout his life, Sanju Bhagat sported a noticeably protruding belly, which became a source of amusement for many.
Locally, he was jokingly termed the ‘man with a baby bump’ due to his distinctively enlarged abdomen. Originating from Nagpur, India, in 1963, Bhagat displayed no obvious health irregularities during his early years.
While toiling on a farm to support his family, life became more challenging when, during his 20s, his belly expanded remarkably.
This unexpected weight gain was perplexing, especially since Bhagat barely consumed enough to maintain his health. Focused on his responsibilities and brushing aside the ridicule, Bhagat turned a blind eye to his enlarging abdomen, dismissing concerns from his family about seeking medical attention.
However, circumstances took a turn in 1999 when he was urgently admitted to a Mumbai hospital. His expanded abdomen pressed on his diaphragm, impeding his breathing. Dr Ajay Mehta, upon examining Bhagat’s swollen belly, surmised it was possibly a tumor.
Yet, his assumption was off the mark. When the doctor made an incision, a flood of liquid emerged, unveiling a human form within. The astonished medical team initially speculated it to be a case of the ‘vanishing twin syndrome’, where a twin might have perished during gestation and got reabsorbed.
A closer look revealed it to be the rare ‘fetus in fetu’ phenomenon, wherein one twin is encased within the other. Typically, the external twin detects an anomaly, unlike Bhagat who had remained oblivious.
He reportedly chose not to gaze upon the ‘mass of hair and tissue’ twin extracted from him and now strives to regain normalcy in his life.
Now unburdened from the twin that had been siphoning nutrients from his gut, he’s said to have resumed his daily work. Yet, his local peers can’t forget when he was affectionately known as their ‘man expecting a baby’.