A team of doctors in Nigeria have successfully conducted a surgery that separated a set of siamese twins.
The doctors spent 13 hours performing complex surgery to separate Goodness and Mercy Martins at the National Hospital Abuja. The surgery involved 78 doctors working in two groups.
Their mother had no idea she was expecting twins and she was more shocked when they came out joined at the chest and abdomen.
The operation to separate them was carried out last November, it was successful and the twins are now well enough to go home.
Lead Surgeon Emmanuel Ameh told BBC that the operation, which cost about $55,000, was complicated. But the medics at National Hospital Abuja did not charge for their work because the twins’ parents – Michael Edeh and Maria Onya Martins – could not afford the medical bills. They rely on Mr Martins’ salary as a painter to get by with their mother being unemployed.
Consultant pediatric surgeon, Professor Emmanuel Ameh, who led the team of experts, explained that the case Goodness and Mercy Martins was unusual because they were joined at two of the most delicate organs of the body.
He presented a short animation video which explained the steps taken to separate the sisters.
In his words, he said “This is an extremely rare condition. The biggest challenge we faced had to do with their separation at the chest region. This is really the first time that twins joined in the chest and the abdomen are separated throughout the entire country. All the other separated twins are joined only in one organ,”
The father of the twins, Mr Martins, a painter from Oturkpo, said he was so happy to see his daughters alive and well. He added that the family was looking forward to returning home and expresses their appreciation towards the medical team.