A heroes' welcome as little fighters get home early
CONJOINED Irish twin boys, Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf, are set for a heroes' welcome when they return home to Ireland today.
The boys -- who have stunned surgeons with the pace of their recovery from a marathon 14 hour separation operation last month -- will fly back to their native Cork from Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital (GOSCH) in London at lunchtime today.
Their mother, Angie, said her only dream has been to bring the boys home safe and well to their east Cork home.
Last night, Edward Kiely, the Irish-born surgeon who supervised the separation surgery at GOSCH, said he was delighted with their progress -- and revealed that, at the moment, there was no further surgery planned for the twins.
In his first interview about the separation surgery, Mr Kiely said he was thrilled with the twins' recovery.
"I am delighted -- they have had very little trouble. They have recovered much faster than is usual under these circumstances. Babies get better very quickly given the chance," he told the Irish Independent.
Mr Kiely said that while there was no further surgery planned, it was still early days.
"I think it is too soon to know. It all depends. But at the present time there are no plans for any further surgery in the near future and they may have almost nothing done as the years go by. But it is just impossible to say at this stage," he added.
Mr Kiely has now taken part in 22 separation surgeries for conjoined twins.
The twins' mother, Angie, last night said that the speed of the twins' recovery has stunned everyone from their family to doctors and nurses.
"They are my little fighters -- and I know they will do amazingly well," the Cork mother of four said. "We are so relieved and so happy to say that our little fighters are coming home. All the prayers were answered."