Touch­ing mo­ments

Sunday Herald Sun - - Front Page - GRANT McARTHUR

NIMA and Dawa Pelden are com­fort­ing each other as they y come to terms with be­ing apart.

De­spite be­ing sep­a­rate for the first time in their lives, the Bhutanese sis­ters re­main at each other’s side, pre­fer­ring to rest in the same bed as they reach for each other.

In the hours af­ter Fri­day’s ground­break­ing sep­a­ra­tion surgery ry at the Royal Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, tal, Nima and Dawa were placed d in in­ten­sive care, where they had d to re­cover in sep­a­rate beds.

But as their con­di­tion im­proved oved and they woke, the sis­ters were re­turned to the hos­pi­tal room they shared be­fore surgery, where they con­tin­ued to reach out for each other.

The de­ci­sion was made to place the girls in the same cot, where they snug­gle so tightly the ap­pear the same as be­fore surgery.

While Nima and Dawa are now able to lie on their backs for the first time, af­ter the shock of so many changes, med­i­cal staff place tow­els around them so they can re­main on their sides, fac­ing to­wards each other, where they are most con­tent.

Mother Bhum­chu Zangmo is keep­ing a bed­side vigil for her 15month-old formerly con­joined daugh­ters, sup­ported by Bhutanese doc­tor Karma Sherub and nurse Tshe­wang Cho­den, as well as Chil­dren First Foun­da­tion vol­un­teers.

When Ms Zangmo has a rest, RCH nurses have sung Twin­kle Twin­kle Lit­tle Star to calm the girls, though in English rather than the Bhutanese words they are used to.

CFF chief ex­ec­u­tive Eliz­a­beth Lodge said just see­ing the girls so healthy and safe af­ter surgery was a big­ger thrill than notic­ing they were now sep­a­rated — when not cov­ered by a blan­ket.

“Nima lay on her back, which was some­thing she has never been able to do, but she reached out to find her sis­ter … and Dawa has still been wrap­ping her leg around Nima,” Ms Lodge said.

“In a mo­ment when they were both un­set­tled it was each other they reached for. Both of them in­de­pen­dently did it.

“See­ing them reach­ing other is just heart­warm­ing. for each

“The sep­a­ra­tion is not the big­gest thing, it is just see­ing them do­ing so well.”

Dawa con­tin­ues to sleep more, though she is still dis­turbed by the louder and more dom­i­nant Nima, just as their re­la­tion­ship has been for their first 15 months of life.

The RCH re­leased yes­ter­day con­firm­ing strong re­cov­ery.

“Twins Nima and Dawa are both in a sta­ble con­di­tion, and re­cov­er­ing in a ward,” the state­ment read. grant.mcarthur@news.com.au a state­ment the twins’

MumBhum­chu Zangmo with Dawa as she lies on her back for the first time; the twins be­fore surgery (in­set); and shar­ing a cot af­ter be­ing sep­a­rated (be­low).

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