Woman Lives 99 Years With Inverted Organs

Doctors are calling one Oregon woman a medical marvel.

Rose Marie Bentley was born with her major internal organs on the wrong side of her body -- but it wasn't discovered until after she died.

What's even more remarkable, is she lived much longer with this condition than anyone thought possible.

She was 99 years old!

"My mom, really was a neat lady," said Ginger Robbins, Bentley's daughter.

But it wasn't until recently that Robbins knew just how neat her mom truly was.

Bentley was born in 1918 in Waldport, Oregon.

She was a beautician and a mother to five children and a grandmother to many grandchildren.

She lived to be 99, which is a feat for anyone, but it's especially impressive for someone like her.

"They told us most people didn't live past five that had this," Robbins said.

When she died, Bentley donated her body to science.

So last spring at Oregon Health and Science University, students and professors inadvertently discovered her rare condition.

"This condition is called situs inversus with levocardia and there are a couple different forms," OHSU professor Dr. Cam Walker said.

"It's really kind of like, everything in her chest cavity, in her body, it's like reversed, like a mirror reversal," Robbins said.

Most of her vital organs were not where they were supposed to be.

Which you think someone would've discovered when she had her gallbladder removed," Robbins said. "But she lived her whole life not knowing her stomach and spleen were on the right when they should've been on the left."

Her liver was also closer to the left side of her body, when normally it's closer to the right.

Her intestines were inverted and her heart was pointed the opposite way.

Most people with this condition have heart defects that cause them to die early, but not Bentley. She was the longest known living person with this condition.

"It's the first case that I've seen," Walker said. "It may be the only case that I see."

Her family thinks she would've loved to know just how unique she was and probably would've thought it was funny.

They said it's something her husband would've joked about too.

"Oh my gosh, he would've been unmerciful to her about this, he was, he had a real dry sense of humor, but he would've teased her to death about it," Robbins said.

Bentley's husband, James, died about 15 years ago.

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