Sisters Mannat and Jannat were born conjoined at the lower chest and abdomen – a condition known medically as omphalopagus – and had a combined weight of just 6.6 lbs. They were delivered at a private hospital in Barara, a town in Ambala district, near Chandigarh, on August 27, they were then transferred to a larger hospital – Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) – for specialist treatment.
The chances of their birth are ‘one in half a million according to Dr Ravi Kanojia, associate professor at the department of paediatric surgery.
‘This is a rare case scenario and a surgeon would be fortunate to see a couple of cases in his or her lifetime,’ he said. The twins shared a liver but other vital organs were separate. A 30-member team worked for eight hours to separate the twins, ensuring each baby had enought of the vital organ to live a normal life, on November 23. The twins’ father, Mohammad Saleem – a labourer who earns only £4 a day and so could not afford basic treatment for his daughters – praised the dedication of medical staff at PGIMER.
He said: ‘The doctors at PGI were my last hope and nobody could have attended the twins better than the doctors at this hospital.’
His wife, Sonia, said: ‘We have been worried about our children for the last three months but God answered our prayers.’