Oregon woman surprises medical world after death at 99

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An Oregon woman unknowingly gave a special gift to the medical world.

Rose Marie Bentley, who died of natural causes at the age of 99 in October 2017, donated her body to science.

When students at Oregon Health and Science University examined her body in the spring of 2018, they discovered the woman’s organs weren’t where they should normally be.

Bentley had a medical condition called “situs inversus with levocardia,” meaning her vital organs were reversed — almost like a mirror inside the body. It normally results in life-threatening heart problems, but Bentley lived 99 years without knowing she had a rare condition. According to OHSU, she may have been the oldest-known person with the condition.

Assistant professor Cameron Walker said the odds of discovering a person with reversed organs like Bentley’s is 1 in 50 million.

Her body also had some other quicks, including a lung only having two lobes when most people have three.

Bentley’s family said she lived without any chronic conditions, aside from arthritis. They added she would have loved all the attention she’s receiving.

“My mom would think this was so cool,” one of Bentley’s five children Louise Allee said. “She would be tickled pink that she could teach something like this. She would probably get a big smile on her face, knowing that she was different, but made it through.”

Bentley lived most of her adult life near Molalla where she and her husband, James Bentley, owned and operated Bentley Feed Store. The store was heavily damaged after a fire broke out at the old boutique building next door in February. The store still sells farm and pet supplies under the ownership of their grandson, Brian Bentley and his wife, Ashley. A GoFundMe has been set up to help rebuild the business.

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