Stone baby
Lithopedion is a condition which occurs when a foetus develops and dies outside the uterusYouTube

A 44-year-old foetus has been discovered inside the body of a Brazilian pensioner.

Complaining of stomach pains and dizziness, the 84-year-old woman was admitted to a hospital in Natividade in Tocantins state.

Doctors x-rayed the woman's stomach to discovered a 20 to 28 week foetus inside. Described as having a "stone baby" inside her, the pensioner was transferred to Porto Nacional Hospital near Palmas for further tests.

It is thought the condition was caused by a rare medical phenomenon called lithopedion, which occurs when a baby develops and dies outside of the uterus.

Lithopedion
This highly unusual calcified foetus remained in the abdomen of a woman for 55 yearsWikimedia Commons

Unable to expel the foetus, the body covers it with calcium to protect the mother from infection, leaving a "stone baby".

According to G1, the unnamed women told doctors she had become pregnant over four decades ago.

She had visited a so-called "witch doctor" or traditional healer, after she began experiencing extreme pain. Her symptoms ceased when he provided her with medication.

Gesneria Saraiva Kratka, a gynocologist at the Porto Nacional hospital, told G1: "Her stomach didn't grow any more, the baby stopped moving and she thought it had been aborted."

She added: "Through ultrasound it was not possible to see the foetus. We saw it with x-rays. It was possible to see the face, the bones of the arms, of the legs, the ribs and the spine."

However, the foetus remained inside the woman despite the fact it was no longer alive. Instead, the woman's body had adapted to it.

The woman has refused to have the foetus removed, although doctors are hoping she will change her mind as to avoid any potential medical complications.

Dr Kratka said the incident was "supernatural" but the elderly woman had not yet had any complications.

She added: "We are going to perform some new tests, scans to see more details and then we will speak with her relatives to see if they allow us to operate."

A similar case arose in December 2013, a 40-year-old foetus was discovered in an 82-year-old Colombian woman. The first recorded case of lithopedion was Madame Colombe Chatri, who died in 1582.

An autopsy revealed she had been carrying a petrified, calcium-covered foetus in her abdominal cavity for nearly 30 years.