Monday, November 29, 1999

Irish conjoined twins separated after 14-hour operation

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London, May 16 (ANI): Irish conjoined twins Hassan and Hussein have been separated after a successful 14-hour operation.The babies, who were joined at the chest, are recovering before they return home, from the hospital.The mother of the boys Angie Benhaffaf, 36, from Co Cork in Ireland, has her hopes renewed."They'll do everything, these boys. They're my little fighters. They'll do what other kids can do, probably even better," the News of the World quoted her as saying.She added: "I think they're an absolute inspiration. Even now, they give so many smiles and cuddles, despite what they've been through."In the beginning, doctors at London's Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital were unconfident about the operation, as scans showed the brothers shared a heart and vital major organs.Also, doctors had predicted, if the boys survived the surgery, they'd have to spend months in the Intensive Care Unit. Yet they were out by May 1 - just three weeks after the op.Angie said: "When I think about the odds of what they've been through, it's scary for us."We're just these ordinary people from ordinary backgrounds, but what the boys have been through is so overwhelmingly miraculous, it can be quite scary sometimes."I still remember the surgeon, the world leader in conjoined twins, telling me the boys have made an 'unusually quick recovery', words I'll remember forever and take to my grave. That's exactly what we want to hear."However, with more than 20 medics, including four surgeons and four anesthetists working in shifts, the surgery was eventually successful.The father of the boys, Azzedine, said: "The day of the surgery was terrifying."We handed them over at 8.30am, and prayed until the amazing news at 11pm when we were told it had gone well."There was so much relief. People told me they thought I was going to collapse."However, the parents laughed that they strangely miss their children are no longer conjoined. (ANI)

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