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Mother cuts off toddler's leg with ax

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MELBOURNE, Nov 7, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A team of Australian surgeons worked for more than eight hours to reattach the leg of a toddler attacked with an ax by his mother.

Police in Melbourne say that the mother was staying with her son in a privately run shelter where she sought refuge because her partner was about to be released from prison. She apparently became upset when the 17-month-old, who was teething, cried for hours, the Melbourne Herald reported.

Another woman wrestled the ax away and called police. When they found the boy and his severed left leg, they notified the Royal Children's Hospital to assemble a surgical team.

The mother, 21, reportedly has a history of mental illness. She was taken to Box Hill Hospital for psychiatric examination, and her son placed in the custody of child welfare authorities.

Surgeons say they will not know for several days if the reattachment was successful.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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