HAILEY, ID – After 4-year-old Indigo Shaw-Fitzgerald saw the Disney favorite “The Little Mermaid,” she started doing what many girls her age do – she began to imagine herself as a mermaid.  Her parents, Rowan and Ellery Shaw-Fitzgerald encouraged their daughter in her passion. They bought Indigo a pet sand crab, they put an ‘Ariel’ poster on the wall of her bedroom, and they enrolled her in swim classes.  “Her every waking moment revolved around being a mermaid,” stated Rowan. 

But others in their community said they weren’t doing enough. So, the Shaw-Fitzgeralds remodeled Indigo’s room to resemble a sea grotto, and modified the family diet to fish and seaweed, exclusively. 

“It’s been six months now and we believe Indigo has found her life’s purpose,” Ellery told the Idaho Pea. “It became very clear that, at age 4, my daughter identifies as a mermaid – she’s a mermaid trapped in a human body.” On the recommendations of Indigo’s Kindergarten counselor, the parents began checking into species reassignment surgery.

“Her counselor asked Indigo what she wanted, and she said she wants to be a real mermaid.” Rowan added. “That settled it. We’re all in. Anything for our little girl.”

With recent advances in transplant surgery, doctors will remove Indigo’s legs and replace them with the lower half of an Idaho Sturgeon.  “At last, our daughter will be on the outside, the mermaid she has always been inside!” Ellery exclaimed.

Indigo will never be able to walk again, Ellery said, “But that’s a small price to pay for correcting the mistake nature made.”

After the surgery is complete, the Shaw-Fitzgeralds will retrofit their home into a multi-room aquarium complete with a wave generator and fish-pellet vending machines.

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