Woman lived 99 years with organs in wrong place

Woman lived 99 years with organs in wrong place
Rose Marie Bentley had situs inversus with levocardia, which basically means her vital organs were reversed. (Source: Ginger Robbins Bentley/CNN)

(CNN) - An Oregon woman unknowingly gives a special gift to the medical world.

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

When students at Oregon Health and Science University opened her up in the spring of 2018, they saw the woman’s organs weren’t where they normally are.

Bentley had situs inversus with levocardia, which basically means her vital organs were reversed, though her heart was in the right place.

In addition, Bentley's body had some other quirks, including a lung only having two lobes, when most people have three.

A professor said the odds of someone living to adulthood with her condition is 1 in 50 million. She may have been the oldest-known person with the condition, as it is often associated with life-threatening cardiac conditions.

Bentley’s family told the university that arthritis was her only chronic condition. During her life, three of her organs were removed, but “only a surgeon who removed her appendix recorded its unusual location in their notes,” the university said.

The woman, who died in 2017, likely didn’t know how special she was.

“My mom would think this was so cool,” said Louise Allee, one of Bentley’s five children. “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.”

Two professors with the university are presenting a scientific poster on the woman’s unusual anatomy at the 2019 American Association of Anatomists Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology, in Orlando, FL.

Copyright 2019 CNN. All rights reserved. Gray Television Group, Inc., contributed to this report.