(Egyptian twins to leave hospital)
DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) — The formerly conjoined Egyptian twin boys were to leave the hospital where they were separated at the crown of their skulls a month ago.
Dr. James Thomas, director of critical care at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where two-year-old Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim were separated on October 12, told a news conference on Thursday the boys will be moved to nearby Medical City Dallas where doctors will work to repair the parts of their skulls under which there lies no bone.
“Considering the tremendous odds they faced preoperatively, these boys have done remarkably well. So many things that could have gone awry, didn’t,” Thomas said.
A month ago, the boys underwent 34 hours of separation surgery — for which doctors had prepared for a year. In the operation, a team of five neurosurgeons separated brain material they shared as well as the shared circulatory systems that feed blood to their brains.
The boys can now sit upright as they blow kisses, bang on tambourines and give high-fives to doctors and nurses. They have stayed in separate rooms but come together for play time.
In an emotional press conference, the boys’ father Ibrahim Mohamed said through an interpreter that the successful surgery was “a miracle.”
“I would love to take them back to Egypt with them walking on their own feet,” he said.
The boys avoided for the most part post-operative complications such as infection, blood clots, or brain swelling — all of which could have proven fatal. They have been fitted for special head bands to protect their skulls, and in the coming days, doctors at Medical City Dallas should give some indication as to how they will repair their damaged skulls.
Sabah Abou Al Wafal plays with her son Mohamed Ibrahim, who is recovering after being separated from his twin brother Ahmed.
“We expect that they are going to get stronger each day. Many of the neurological problems we anticipated have not occurred, and we are hoping that they continue on their road to recovery” said Dr. Ken Shapiro, one of the boys’ neurosurgeons said.
The cost of the medical procedure was expected to cost about $2 million and be paid for by charity, with many in the medical team donating their services for free.
“They were saying ’bye-bye’ to us, and that means a lot to us,” Shapiro said as the boys were about to leave the hospital.
The boys were born in a town 500 miles (800 km) south of Cairo on June 2, 2001.