In 1933, Lina Medina was born in Ticrapo, Peru. At the age of five years, Lina was brought to hospital by her parents who complained of abdominal extreme growth. The girl’s parents initially thought their daughter was suffering from a massive abdominal tumor, but after being examined by doctors in Pisco, Peru, they discovered she was seven-months pregnant.
Dr. Geraldo Lozada became Lina’s attending doctor, fully taking over the case. Dr. Lozada took Lina to a more advanced hospital in Lima to confirm the pregnancy diagnosis. The diagnosis was confirmed. Lina was born with a rare condition called “precocious puberty”. Precocious puberty is basically the early onset of sexual development. Most girls begin experiencing puberty around the age of ten (boys usually start a little later, around the ages of 11 or 12). Lina had experienced her first menstrual cycle at the age of two and a half or three. She had fully developed breasts by the age of four. Within five years, her body displayed pelvic widening and advanced bone maturation.
Lina and her baby Gerardo
Lina Medina officially became the youngest confirmed mother in medical history, aged five, seven months and 21 days. She gave birth to a boy by a caesarean section on May 14, 1939, necessitated by her small pelvis. The surgery was performed by Lozada and Dr. Busalleu, with Dr. Colareta providing anaesthesia. The child, weighing 2,700 grams (6 pounds), was well-formed, in good health and was named Gerardo after the doctor who delivered him. Child and mother were able to leave the clinic after only a few days.
As might be expected, sexual abuse was immediately considered. The father of Lina was arrested on suspicion of rape and incest. He was released due to lack of evidence. Lina Medina never revealed who the real father of her child is, or the circumstances surrounding its impregnation. According to a 1955 article reviewing the case:“some have pointed out, there were frequent festivities celebrated by the Indians in the Andean villages like the one where Lina was born. These often ended in orgies where rape was not uncommon”.
Throughout the years, many people have called her story a complete hoax, however, a number of doctors over the years have verified it based on biopsies, X rays of the fetal skeleton in utero, and photographs taken by the doctors caring for her.
Gerardo was raised believing that Medina was his sister, but found out at the age of 10 that she was his mother. He led a healthy life until 1979, when he died from bone marrow disease at the age of 40. In young adulthood, Medina worked as a secretary in the Lima clinic of Dr. Lozada, who gave her an education and helped put her son through high school. Medina later married Raúl Jurado and in 1972 had a second son, 33 years after her first. Lina Medina is alive today, but refuses to give interviews.