For the first time a hospital in Nigeria has successfully separated two conjoined twins who were born since August 2018 and shared some critical internal organs.
Mercy and Goodness Martins were brought to the the National Hospital Abuja with a condition known as omphalocele, a birth defect that left a section of their intestines outside their navels.
They were joined at the chest and abdomen but had separate hearts and shared heart covering, liver and diaphragm before they were successfully separated by the team of 78 medical practitioners in a 13-hour surgery last November.
The leader of the team Dr. Emmanuel Ameh told the BBC that he was confident that the twins are strong enough to go home and begin their lives.
“They are now able to stand on their own without support and we hope that they will start walking,” he said.
“And their wounds, which were very extensive on their tummy and chest, have healed very well.
“They are eating well and growing well and we think it’s safe for them to go home today.”
Their mother, Maria Onya Martins, expressed how crushed she felt when the kids were born.
While visibly beaming with joy she said, “Today that we have been discharged and going home I am very very happy. Very very happy seeing my two children going home.”
The operation cost about $55,000 and was completely funded by the hospital itself.