Virsaviya's heart grows on the outside of her bodyBBC
The morbidly curious streak in us all is fascinated with bizarre tales of the medical industry; so BBC2's new series Incredible Medicine: Dr Weston's Casebook is sure to be a big hit with viewers tonight (22 February).
Over the series, presenter and surgeon Gabriel Weston meets some pretty incredible people and uncovers the workings of the human body as she looks closely at case studies of individuals with extremely rare conditions.
Despite Virsaviya from Russia's heart growing outside her ribs, she shows good spirit, telling the doctor: "I run, I'm not supposed to, but I love to run".On tonight's episode, she meets seven-year-old Virsaviya, who was born with her heart on the outside of her ribcage. She also encounters Jeannie Peeper, who suffers from a rare condition that sees her body growing an extra skeleton where there should be muscle.
Her condition – Pentalogy of Cantrell, or thoraco-abdominal syndrome – affects five in a million people, and doctors told her mother she would not survive. The family moved to the US in the hope that she could receive the treatment she needed.
Throughout the series Weston will meet some of the world's most extraordinary people, like the man paralysed after breaking his back in a swimming accident who agreed to brain surgery, as a guinea pig, for a new treatment developed by an electrical engineer.
Another individual, Tom Staniford, cannot store any fat, leaving him underweight. Bizarrely, he also suffers from diabetes, a disease normally associated with obesity.
We will also be introduced to a bearded lady who after a lifetime's bullying decided to be proud of her body the way nature designed it. With the help of cutting-edge technology and top scientists, Weston explores why these bodies are the way they are, how they are able to function and what they can teach us about the human body in general.
Incredible Medicine: Dr Weston's Casebook airs on BBC2 tonight at 9pm.