FREEPRESS – Separated Bhutanese conjoined twins left a Melbourne hospital as individual girls on Monday, over two weeks after successful life-changing surgery.
The lead paediatric surgeon, Joe Crameri, said the 15-month-old Nima and Dawa Palden who were joined at the torso and shared a liver, were separated on Nov. 9 after a six-hour procedure.
Crameri said that the separation involved a team of 25 surgeons, anaesthetists, clinicians and nurses.
The paediatric surgeon added that the two sisters left the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne in a pram on Monday with their mother, who said: “Thank you, everyone.’’
“The two remarkable girls were recovering well and somewhat smiling.
“The twins have made an excellent recovery and they are now starting to act independently and move around,’’ Crameri told newsmen.
He said that the staff had seen them transform since becoming independent.
“Girls who started off really attached and bonded to another, but ultimately frustrated with one another.
“We saw them became incredibly anxious after the surgery once they knew their other twin was not immediately in front of them.
“Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen them gain confidence, gain independence and gain a lot of strength,’’ Crameri said.
According to him, the girls will to travel with their mother to continue recovery in a rural town outside Melbourne, before returning to their family in Bhutan at a later date.
“The girls are not able to stand and it will be a work in progress as they build up strength and balance.
“What the two girls need is the stimulation of other children being around to challenge them, to give them interest and that will do wonders for the girls,’’ Crameri said.