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Friday 24 March 2017

Separated Irish twins make rapid progress

Conjoined twins separated by surgeons last month are nearly well enough to return home, doctors have said.

Five-month-old Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf have made "very rapid progress" at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, surgeon Edward Kiely said.

Mr Kiely, who led the team separating the twins during a 14-hour operation, told ITV News: "The twins are very well and they've made very rapid progress. Much faster than similar twins in the past and here we are six weeks from the surgery and we're looking to discharge them quite soon.

"They've got better very quickly. I couldn't tell you why they have done so well and so quickly but we're delighted.

"We don't really care about the whys and the wherefores, we're just very pleased that life has been straightforward for them and they've recovered very quickly."

About 20 staff, including four anaesthetists and four surgeons, worked in shifts during the complex procedure. The boys had been joined at the chest but did not share any major organs.

Their parents Angie and Azzedine, from Cork, have described their sons as "little fighters".

They have relocated their entire family, including daughters Malika, four, and two-year-old Iman, to London for the operation and recovery period.

Mr Kiely praised the family for their strength, saying in the television interview: "I see sick children, sick babies, all the time and you cannot help but be impressed by the courage of the parents and the courage of the children.

"I know that the children have no choice that they're in this situation, but nonetheless they display extraordinary courage on a daily basis."

Press Association

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