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Search date: 11-04-2019 Return to current date: Click here

Woman dies at 99 with most organs on wrong side of body

April 11, 2019 00:00:00

SALEM, Apr 10 (AP): Rose Marie Bentley was an avid swimmer, raised five kids, helped her husband run a feed store, and lived to the ripe age of 99. It was only after she died that medical students discovered that all her internal organs - except for her heart - were in the wrong place.

The discovery of the rare condition, which was presented this week to a conference of anatomists, was astounding - especially because Bentley had lived so long. People with the condition known as situs inversus with levocardia often have life-threatening cardiac ailments and other abnormalities, according to Oregon Health & Science University.

Cameron Walker's class at the university in Portland was examining the heart of a cadaver last year when they noticed the blood vessels were different. When they opened the abdominal cavity, they saw that all the other organs were on the wrong side. The unusual blood vessels helped the heart compensate.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Walker described his reaction to the find as "definitely a mix of curiosity, fascination and a sense of wanting to explore a little bit of a medical mystery - a medical marvel really - that was in front of us."

"And I would say the students felt something very similar," Walker, an assistant professor of anatomy, told The Associated Press.

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