Deepak Paswaan was taunted and called a 'devil' and 'freak' as he was born with a parasitic twin jutting from his stomach.
Born in Bihar, India, Deepak spent his young life carrying around the under-developed legs and arms of what would have been his twin in a normal pregnancy.
But last summer, top doctors at the Fortis Hospital Bangalore agreed to operate on Deepak for free, as his parents, Indu and Veeresh, couldn't afford the whopping £50,000 it would have cost.
A team of six surgeons first cut away the extra limbs and then spent the final two hours sealing off the blood vessels Deepak shared with his twin.
Had he gone without surgery, Deepak's life would have been at risk due to the increased strain on his organs and frequent infections. The parasite even had its own intestines, which had to be taken away from Deepak's liver.
Speaking about the surgery, Deepak's mum, Indu, said she was incredibly nervous about the procedure:
'There was a major artery connecting Deepak to the twin, and if that had not been clipped properly, it would have put Deepak's life in danger. Me and his dad waited at the hospital while Deepak spent four hours in surgery. We sat hoping and praying that he would be okay.
'Once we found out he'd made it through, we were so relieved. All of the fear left us and suddenly all we could see was a brighter future for Deepak. He sometimes tells us that his father cut off the twin and threw it away in the fields, other than that, he hardly ever talks about it. He's too busy running around with his friends - he could never do that before as the twin weighed him down and he'd quickly get out of breath.'
Indu also explained that Deepak battled years of abuse about his condition, with some people suggesting he was possessed by the devil:
'People used to throw things at Deepak and I would hear all the whispers from neighbours, saying he was possessed by the devil. People told me he was a monster who would eat us.'
Deepak is completely healthy after the operation, and the only reminder is the scar across his tummy.
The little boy can now do everything he struggled with before his operation, saying:
'I can run faster than my two elder brothers - before I could never keep up. I really like my new body. It's much more fun. I am very happy.'
Lead surgeon at Fortis Hospital Bangalore, Dr Ramcharan Thiagrajan, said: 'This is a very rare phenomenon and only a small proportion of babies with parasitic twins live. We are very happy with the results.'
You can watch Deepak's story, Extraordinary People: The Eight-Limbed Boy on Channel 5 on Thursday, 6th October at 9pm.
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