"Instead of having a stomach on the left, which is normal, her stomach was on the right," a professor said.
When someone does something unacceptable, we always tell them their heart must not be in the right place. If it was, they wouldn't have done that. Maybe, just maybe, their heart being in the right place has nothing to do with it. At least 26-year-old medical student Warren Nielsen and four of his classmates at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland can vouch for that! Nielsen and his classmates were at the dissecting lab and before them lay a 99-year-old woman's body they were about to cut open and examine. They were informed the woman died of natural causes, reports CNN. Usually, to honor and respect the dead, not a lot of information is given out to the students, except for their age and cause of death. Little did they know this general rule would not apply to the cadaver in front of them.
Her name was Rose Marie Bentley, and the students were in for the shock of their life when they opened her up. What really made this cadaver go from a random dead body to someone who the students identified by a name was the fact that she was some kind of a medical unicorn. Rose had a condition called situs inversus with levocardia, in which most vital organs are reversed -- almost like a mirror inside the body, and a bunch of other wonderful abnormalities.
She had a condition called situs inversus with levocardia, in which most vital organs are reversed -- almost like a mirror inside the body.— 360onHistory (@360onHistory) April 9, 2019
Rose Marie Bentley lived for 99 years with organs in all the wrong places and never knew it - CNN https://t.co/8MNgBdKmZN pic.twitter.com/mX3WndyFh5
"I think the odds of finding another person like her may be as remote as one in 50 million. I don't think any of us will ever forget it, honestly," said assistant professor Cameron Walker, who teaches the Foundations of Clinical Anatomy class at Oregon Health and Science University. Nielsen and his classmates were asked to explore the heart when they began to notice how it wasn't like what they'd learned before. Nielsen said, "Her heart was missing a large vein that's normally on the right side."
"Where's the inferior vena cava? Are we missing it? Are we crazy?" asked a bunch of shocked students to their professors. "And they kind of rolled their eyes," Nielsen said, "Like, 'how can these students miss this big vessel?' And they come over and that's when the hubbub starts. They're like 'Oh, my God, this is totally backward!' " A normal body has a large vein known as the vena cava that follows the right side of the vertebral column, bending under the liver and draining deoxygenated blood into the heart.
Rose Marie Bentley is thought to be the oldest person with a rare condition called situs inversus with levocardia:— Rich Tehrani (@rtehrani) April 9, 2019
A 99-year-old woman donated her body to science. She had no idea her organs were in the wrong places https://t.co/bhshAtNgrQ pic.twitter.com/4JVgyn9jI4
Bentley's vein was on the left, and instead of terminating directly into the heart, which is typical, "her vein continued through her diaphragm, along the thoracic vertebrae, up and around and over the aortic arch and then emptied into the right side of her heart," Walker said. Which means none of us have a vessel that directly does the job for us. This was just the beginning of all things amusing with Rose's body.
She had numerous veins missing or springing up from other places, and there were small defects with her organs. "And instead of having a stomach on the left, which is normal, her stomach was on the right," said Walker. "Her liver, which normally occurs predominantly on the right, was predominantly on the left. Her spleen was on the right side instead of its normal occurrence on the left. And then the rest of her digestive tract, the ascending colon, was inverted as well."
Have you considered she’s the only one with organs in the right places?— Michael Thompson (@mt252525) April 8, 2019
This is a condition that only one in nearly 22,000 babies is born with, and because of the messed up organs, they most likely end up with some form of a heart condition. But, Rose did not have any issues, which is why she lived up to a ripe old age of 99! That, along with all her other extremely rare anatomical anomalies, makes Rose 1 in 50 million, Walker estimated. Surely Nielsen and his classmates had no idea they would be witnessing something this unusual.
There are so many who walk among us who have their brains in their backsides & vice versa 😃— Anupam Vaid (@VaidAnupam) April 8, 2019
No one in her family ever had any idea about her condition. "We had no reason to believe there was anything like that wrong. She was always very healthy. She was always doing something, taking us to Campfire Girls, fishing, swimming. She was an excellent swimmer," said 76-year-old Ginger Robbins, the third of Bentley's children. Apparently, the closest they came to knowing of her situation was when she had her appendix removed. "The surgeon made a note that her appendix wasn't in the right spot when they took it out," Allee said, "but never said anything to us. Nobody said a thing when they took her gallbladder out and did a hysterectomy, either." The marvels of the human body!
She was an alien plant. They got the anatomy backwards.— Tom Jeff (@TomJeff37127041) April 8, 2019