Sis­ters With 1 Head, 2 Brains

Twins may soon be sep­a­rated in a lifechang­ing operation

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Sis­ters, Nadira Alifa Putri and Nadiba Aisyah Putri, have been con­joined since their birth four months ago, shar­ing a skull but not a brain. They were born on Jan­uary 21 as triplets, de­liv­ered by Cae­sarean sec­tion at the Tan­jung­pinang Re­gional Gen­eral Hospi­tal in In­done­sia, but their other sis­ter is sep­a­rate to them. Par­ents Siti Nuryan­ingsih and Juarnes Prana Di­nata, both 30, are now wait­ing for a land­mark operation which will sep­a­rate their daugh­ters, al­low­ing them to lead a nor­mal life. Mr Di­nata said: “The doc­tors were shocked at birth when they re­alised it was a triplet and a con­joined twin as well.

“I am glad that all the ba­bies are healthy but I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to their sep­a­ra­tion.

“It is re­ally dif­fi­cult for me and my wife to see them like that,” he said. Their mother says they may share a skull, but they have com­pletely sep­a­rate char­ac­ters. She said: “Both of them have com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties. They are too young to make de­ci­sions but they know what they want to do in that mo­ment. “So we think at­tempt­ing a sep­a­ra­tion surgery is a step that needs to be taken,” she said. She added: ‘When one sleeps the other one wants to play so their sense of do­ing things is re­ally messed up. “We are re­ally look­ing for­ward to their sep­a­ra­tion.” The twins have been re­ferred to the Cipto Man­gunkusumo Hospi­tal in Jakarta.

But doc­tors at the hospi­tal have asked the par­ents to wait un­til the ba­bies gain weight to per­form the the operation to split them up. Con­joined twins oc­cur about once in ev­ery 200,000 live births and their sur­vival is ‘any­thing but as­sured’ ac­cord­ing to the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Med­i­cal Cen­tre.

It claims 40 to 60 per cent of con­joined twins ar­rive still­born and trag­i­cally about 35 per cent only sur­vive for a sin­gle day. Sur­vival rates for twins who have sep­a­ra­tion surgery, de­pend­ing on their type of con­nec­tion, and the or­gans they share, it said. Although suc­cess rates have im­proved over the years, sur­gi­cal sep­a­ra­tion is still rare.

Since 1950, at least one twin has sur­vived sep­a­ra­tion about 75 per cent of the time.

Twin girls Nadira Alifa Putri and Nadiba Aisyah Putri who were born four months ago joined at the head may soon be sep­a­rated in a life-chang­ing operation.

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