Good luck, little twins | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 11, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:25 AM, August 11, 2019

Good luck, little twins

Condition of separated conjoined sisters Rokeya, Rabeya stable; one wakes up, the other unconscious

Despite some post-operative health risks, condition of separated conjoined twins Rokeya and Rabeya remains stable, says an ISPR release.

The three-year-old twins are undergoing treatment at the post anesthetic care unit (PACU) of the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka.

They underwent a 33-hour marathon surgery at the CMH that had begun at 1:00am on August 1. Rabeya gained consciousness on Friday, but Rokeya still remains unconscious.

Such an operation is very critical and the success rate is not so high either. A press briefing was held at the CMH yesterday to inform the media about the surgery and the babies’ latest health conditions.

Rokeya and Rabeya were born on July 16, 2016, at a private clinic in Pabna. Their parents Rafiqul Islam and Taslima Begum from the district’s Chatmohar upazila are teachers.

The twins underwent multiple surgeries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and in Hungary since January 4.

After 48 major and minor operations, they were brought to the CMH from Hungary on July 22, as per Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s directive, to carry out the most critical part of the surgery -- separating their “conjoined brains”.

A team of Hungarian experts, over 100 local health experts from different hospitals and institutions, including the CMH, DMCH, Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery, National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital, and Dhaka Shishu Hospital were involved in the critical operation.

The twin sisters are now under the care of neuro intensivists from the CMH and Shishu Hospital. They will have to undergo another surgery in two to three months, the ISPR release says.

Hungary-based Action for Defenceless People Foundation supported the critical surgery.

Talking to this newspaper, renowned Bangladeshi burn and plastic surgery expert Dr Samanta Lal Sen said conducting such a surgery was a “milestone achievement” for the country’s medical science as well as for this region.

He said it would take another two to three weeks for them to say whether the babies were out of danger or not, said Sen who attended the press briefing and also coordinated the whole process of the surgery.

Rafiqul Islam, the babies’ father, said both his daughters had been unconscious since being operated on at the CMH.

He said Rabeya on Friday gestured towards her mother as if she wanted to be in her lap.

Doctors were hopeful that Rokeya would gain consciousness soon, Rafiqul added.

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