British doctors have successfully separated a set of conjoined twins joined at the head, and soon, they will be healthy enough to return home, separately, with their parents.
The twins, Rital and Ritag, were born in Sudan to Pakistani parents about a year ago and had survived normally until Ritag's heart started to fail earlier this year. Because Ritag's system was doing most of the circulatory work, the family had little time to respond. British charity Face the World offered to fund the family's travel to a London hospital, and the doctors who worked on the procedures did so for no cost.
According to Reuters,
The separation was carried out in four stages by a surgical team who worked for free. Two operations were carried out in May, then another was undertaken in July to insert tissue expanders, and the final separation was completed on August 15.
The girls have recovered well, but it's a miracle they even survived at all.
Conjoined twins are very rare and only around 5 percent of them are craniopagus [joined at the head]. Experts say around 40 percent of those are stillborn or die during labor, and another third die within 24 hours. So for craniopagus twins to survive even beyond early infancy is a one in 10 million occurrence.
Congratulations to the happy family and to the doctors who pulled off a pretty miraculous feat.
Image via Irina Rogova/Shutterstock