A Nigerian hospital has successfully carried out an operation to separate conjoined twin babies, Goodness and Mercy Martins.
The operating staff has also said they have monitored the kids after the operation and can ascertain that the process was a success.
According to reports, the National Hospital in Abuja conducted the separation of the twins joined at the chest, abdomen and liver on November 14. The children were kept under intensive care and monitoring, as there are often cases where the children die some days after the operation.
Perhaps, the most exciting part of the success story is that hospital management said it did not collect a dime from the parents for the surgery, its procedure and the 16 months the twins spent in the facility.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Jaf Momoh, said the hospital took particular interest in the twins upon discovering that their parents were poor and cannot bear the financial burden.
"My attention was drawn to their inability to pay for such an expensive medical procedure, so we accessed their status and classified them as indigent. We funded their care and major surgeries that separated them," Mr Momoh, a professor said on Tuesday at a press briefing.
"We ensured that the lack of funds did not stop the beautiful twins from enjoying their lives independently."
Health ministers, Osagie Ehanire and Olorunimbe Mamora, and Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen, were among dignitaries that attended the briefing.
The identical twin girls were born via caesarean-section on August 13, 2018, to Mariah and Michael Martins at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Keffi, Nassarawa State. They were attached at the chest and abdomen – with a large blood vessel connecting their hearts through their chest walls.
The FMC Keffi referred them to the National Hospital Abuja the following day – August 14. "That was when the long journey that brought us to this day began," Emmanuel Ameh, the head of the surgical team, said while taking journalists through the 16-month journey of the separation. "First, we had to assemble a team…"
"The first challenge we faced when we received the babies was that their intestines were popping out from their conjoined lower abdomen," the pediatric surgeon said.
Mr Ameh, a professor, said: "the next task was to find out several other organs the twins share in common and the ones that need to be separated."
" They had two independent hearts inside one heart covering, preliminary investigations found. While the twins have one conjoined liver serving the both, they have unglued intestines," he said.
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