Sometimes the most extraordinary events happen in the most extraordinary circumstances. Lina Medina was born in 1939 and brought up in the Peruvian village of Ticrapo. The town was at an altitude of more than 7,000 feet above sea level, and also was one of Peru’s poorest neighborhoods.
Little is known of Lina’s very early childhood, but it’s easy to imagine that life in such an impoverished area would have been basic. She had eight siblings, and they were all raised by their mother, Victoria Losea, and father, Tiburelo Medina, who was a silversmith.
The life for the South American family would have probably been pretty uneventful. However, when Lina was five, something happened that would change her life – and her family’s – forever. Not only that, but it would surprise the entire world.
The concern for Lina started when the little girl began developing a bloated abdomen. Days and weeks went by and the swelling didn’t go down; on the contrary, it seemed to get larger as time passed. Naturally worried, Lina’s mother and father suspected that their daughter could be suffering from a tumor. But before heading to the hospital, they sought help from a curious source.
The family reportedly asked local shamans to see if they could cure Lina of her bloated abdomen, and the shamans apparently believed that her strange growth could be down to her being possessed. So Lina’s father, Tiburelo, granted permission for them to exorcise his daughter in a bid to remove “the snake under her belly.”
We’ll never know if the “exorcism” actually took place. If it did, it clearly didn’t work. What happened next is known to have occurred. With Lina’s ever-growing bump still showing, it was time to see medical professionals.
In a 1939 article in TIME magazine, one of the shamans was with the Medina family when they took the girl to the hospital in Pisco, Peru. Apparently, the female shaman asked a Dr. Geraldo Lozada, one of the hospital’s surgeons, to “exorcise” the “possessed” girl himself.
Clearly, a medical professional like Dr. Lozada was not going to perform an “exorcism”. Instead, he did what any regular doctor would do and gave the girl an examination. What he later discovered would surely have come as a complete shock.
Why did this come to a complete shock to everyone, including doctors? Because Lina was in the final stages of pregnancy. Indeed, she appeared to be around seven months pregnant, so Dr. Lozada moved her to specialists in a Lima hospital to confirm the diagnosis. Here, the news was corroborated ..Lina, a five-year-old girl, was pregnant.