Lifestyle

I went to the hospital with pneumonia and discovered that all my organs are in the WRONG place

SINCE her birth, Olesya Kulikova was in and out of the hospital with countless health problems.

The now 27-year-old already has a number of complaints from pneumonia, bronchial asthma and severe abdominal pain.

Olesya Kulikova, 27, suffers from a rare condition known as situs inversus totalis

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Olesya Kulikova, 27, suffers from a rare condition known as situs inversus totalisPhoto credit: Jam Press
Since birth, she has also experienced a number of health issues that have landed her in the hospital

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Since birth, she has also experienced a number of health issues that have landed her in the hospitalPhoto credit: Jam Press
Throughout her adolescence there were clues to the condition, such as her heart being shown on the right instead of the left during routine checkups

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Throughout her adolescence there were clues to the condition, such as her heart being shown on the right instead of the left during routine checkupsPhoto credit: Jam Press

However, doctors were only able to diagnose her in 2009, when they realized her organs were in the wrong place.

Olesya suffers from a rare condition known as situs inversus totalis, an anomaly characterized by a mirroring of the major organs.

The disease occurs in about one in 10,000 people who are born with the condition – with Olesya going undiagnosed for 13 years.

It is usually detected by X-rays, CT, MRI scans, or ultrasound.

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She said she was 14 when she found out her heart was on the right side of her body.

Then, four years later, at the age of 18, she was told her liver was on the left side.

Olesya, from Achinsk, Russia, said she was hospitalized with pneumonia in 2019 when medics told her her lungs were “mirrored”.

“Every time I go through a medical exam, I have to explain that my heart is on the right, not on the left like everyone’s.

“I have no tattoos, documents or jewelry that could warn doctors if I’m losing consciousness.

“The electrocardiogram, a test that checks the heart’s rhythm, [I have to tell] Doctors to put the electrodes on the right side,” she told NeedToKnow.online.

In 2021, Olesya was diagnosed with Kartagener Syndrome, an inherited condition that causes difficulty clearing debris and fluid from the lungs.

For this reason she had pneumonia four times, had bronchial asthma, shortness of breath and a constant cough.

Fast forward to April of this year and Olesya went to the hospital with a stomach ache – only later to learn she actually had kidney stones.

To try to control and treat her ailments, Olesya started going to the gym where she hopes her lungs are “working properly” and so far she’s found breathing easier.

What is situs inversus totalis (SIT)?

Situs inversus totalis (SIT) is a rare condition where the organs are on the opposite side of the body.

Experts say the underlying causes are complex and familial cases have been reported.

It can be caused by a recessive genetic disorder, and an unaffected carrier mother and father have a 1 in 4 chance of having a child with SIT.

There are different types of the disease.

In dextrocardia, the heart is on the right side of the body, in levocardia, on the left

Levocardia is less common and is usually associated with other heart problems.

Another type is situs ambiguous—that is, when multiple organs are in the wrong position.

She claims that her condition is an anomaly and that’s why people who have the condition and become pregnant are told to get fired.

Olesya, who is the only person in her family with the condition, added that she had previously met a woman with the same condition who told her that if the baby survived, she could be born with disabilities.

“Since doctors rarely encounter this type of scenario, they assumed the baby would die – but she had a healthy baby, which I call a miracle.

“In another case, the child was born with a right heart and had a defect, but underwent surgery and now has a perfectly healthy heart.”

Although she has no children of her own yet, she is now trying to raise awareness about the disease so people feel less alone.

She added: “I admit I was embarrassed that I had situs inversus totalis – but I started blogging and people from all different countries wrote to me.

“Most people often ask questions about my health and many find me through hashtags where I offer support.

“Of course everyone hopes that their children will live happily ever after with this anomaly and I am convinced that we can lead normal lives.”

She is now trying to raise awareness about the disease so others can feel less alone

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She is now trying to raise awareness about the disease so others can feel less alonePhoto credit: Jam Press

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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5466888/hospital-pneumonia-organs-wrong-place/ I went to the hospital with pneumonia and discovered that all my organs are in the WRONG place

Sarah Y. Kim

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