KNH doctors face hard task of separating conjoined twins

December 5, 2014 6:41 am
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They are without a doubt beautiful three-month old girls. Twins/FRANCIS MBATHA
They are without a doubt beautiful three-month old girls. Twins/FRANCIS MBATHA
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 – Favour and Blessing lie side by side. Blessing sleeps peacefully but Favour sucks her thumb and when she’s tired of doing that, lets out a cry. All the while, Blessing doesn’t stir.

They are without a doubt beautiful three-month old girls. Twins.

And unless you unwrap the sheet they’re bundled up in, there’s no way of knowing that Favour and Blessing aren’t lying side by side by choice. Their lower backs are fused together. They are conjoined twins.

Each is fully formed except for the fact that their lower spines and rump are fused together and they share an excretory opening.

Theirs is a rarity with only one in every 200,000 births resulting in conjoined twins and even fewer being successfully separated.

The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), in which they now lie, has handled only five other similar cases in its history.

But the plan, the KNH Head of Paediatric surgery Joel Lessan says, “is to keep them beautiful to the end.” The end being separation.

And Lessan is optimistic they could survive it: “They have a 50/50 percent chance of survival.”

But first the doctors want to wait for them to, “flesh out,” Lessan says.

I say doctors because according to Lessan, it will take a team of them to successfully separate Favour and Blessing.

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