CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- It was a first for X-ray technicians at Driscoll Children's Hospital Monday as one of their patients was a 2,000-year-old mummy.
The mummy had been at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History since the 1950s, but they are getting ready to ship her back to Peru for research.
It's without a doubt the oldest patient Driscoll Children's Hospital has ever seen.
"She was the 137th artifact that was accepted into the museum its very first year," Museum Collections Manager Jillian Becquet said.
The Incan mummy has been at the museum since 1957. It was on display until the 80s and is now kept in a special storage room.
"We started the research about a year ago," Becquet said.
Becquet has been studying the mummy to learn more about her. She said they believe she is a seven- or eight-year-old Peruvian girl, which is why she requested that Driscoll Children's Hospital perform the X-ray. She hopes to find out more about the mummy before they send her back to the Peruvian embassy for extensive research.
Museum officials and medical personnel crowded into a dark radiology room to do the X-rays Monday. Suzi Beckwith performs nearly 90 X-rays a week, but never like this one.
"That first X-ray, you know, you're waiting to see what is it we're going to see," Beckwith said.
Surprisingly, all of the mummy's bones were intact, even after thousands of years.
"I imagine that will probably be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me," Beckwith said.
The images will be sent to Peru and hopefully reveal what region the mummy is from and what her culture was like; but it is about more than just the research.
"Where her family is buried. Where her siblings, parents, everybody who raised her," Becquet said. "That's where we'd like her to be instead of here."
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