In 1939, a mother took her five-year-old daughter Lina Medina to a hospital in Pisco, Peru. The purpose of this visit was her concern over a growth in her daughter’s stomach. What happened next can best be described as disturbing.
Confirming the Pregnancy
The family lived in a remote village located in the Andes. They were a poor family and desperate to find out what was causing the issue with Lina’s stomach. Some believed it was the result of evil spirits possessing Lina’s body. Upon arrival at the hospital, Lina’s mother begged Dr. Gerardo Lozada to identify the problem.
Upon examining Lina’s stomach, the issue appeared to be an abnormal growth, and Dr. Lozada initially thought the problem was a tumor.
Since Lina was born in 1933, it was hard to accept that she was pregnant at five years of age. However, the doctors that examined her could hear a heartbeat that suggested Pregnancy. Was it possible that a child of Lina’s age was going to have a baby? Not only was it possible, but it was also factual. She was seven months pregnant.
Giving Birth to a Baby Boy
A couple of weeks passed after learning about Lina’s Pregnancy when she gave birth to a healthy six-pound baby boy on May 14, 1939. She became the youngest mother to ever exist.
The baby was named Gerardo, and he was born via a cesarean section. This was necessary because Lina’s pelvis had not fully developed, which would have made a natural childbirth impossible. Remarkably, the procedure was problem-free. Both mother and baby were discharged from the hospital after a short period.
Gerardo was named after Dr. Lozada because of the support he provided when handling Lina’s case.
Diagnosis of Precocious Pregnancy
What happened to Lina was rare and is known as precocious puberty. Only 1 out of 10,000 people have this condition.
Precocious Pregnancy happens when the ovaries of a female child develop fully at a very young age. It’s the reason Lina first started her period at the age of three. By the time she was four years old, she had developed breasts. Even her bones were more developed than the average five-year-old.
As you might imagine, one of the most disturbing aspects of this case was the fact that a five-year-old child had been impregnated. This was obviously an outcome of sexual abuse. Some believed it to be the result of incest at the hands of Lina’s father. There was no evidence to support this belief, and a case against her father was pursued but quickly dismissed.
Although paternity was never determined, some believe it was the result of a sexual assault during festivities in their village. There are reports of festival activities that involved rape. However, this was just speculation that was never confirmed.
Lina and Gerardo’s Life
Only five years apart, Gerardo believed Lina was his sister. When he turned 10 years of age, he was informed that she was, in fact, his mother. It’s unknown how he felt about the situation. Lina did not seem to be negatively affected by what occurred, and she didn’t show any maternal instincts towards Gerardo. She continued to develop mentally and emotionally like any other little girl, with interests that included playing outdoors and with dolls.
Lina lived a relatively healthy life, later marrying a man by the name of Raul Jurado. They had a baby when she was 38 years old and Gerardo was 33. Unfortunately, Gerardo died at the age of 40 due to an illness involving his bone marrow. It’s unknown if his health condition had anything to do with the age of his mother when she gave birth to him. Given that Gerardo lived a relatively healthy life for decades, it doesn’t appear that his health issues as an adult were related to his birth.
Was it Just a Hoax?
Many people who don’t know the details surrounding Lina’s story assume it’s a hoax. However, a United States public health official named Dr. S. L. Christian examined Lina in 1939 to confirm the legitimacy of the report. He visited Peru specifically for this purpose. His examination, along with lots of photos, a biopsy, medical records and an X-ray, confirmed that she gave birth at five years of age.
Although it’s a story that’s hard to believe, based on all of the information gathered, it actually happened. Lina Medina was, in fact, a five-year-old mother.