Bum shuf­fles as ex-con­joined twins from Bhutan try out in­de­pen­dence

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

It took six hours for doc­tors to sep­a­rate con­joined Bhutanese twins Nima and Dawa last week, but nurses said Thurs­day the re­cov­er­ing girls are still not ready to go their own ways.

“We try and have them a lit­tle bit apart, but they man­age to sort of bum shuf­fle back to­gether and have their legs in­ter­twined al­ways,” nurse Kel­lie Smith told re­porters, six days af­ter their op­er­a­tion.

“We did ini­tially try and have them in two beds, but they didn’t like that at all, so they’re in the one bed to­gether and just happy play­ing with one an­other, and it’s ac­tu­ally beau­ti­ful to see,” she said.

Chief Sur­geon Joe Crameri of the Royal Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in Mel­bourne said the 15-month-olds, who had been joined at the torso and shared a liver, were “mak­ing good progress” de­spite “a few bumps we’re still smooth­ing out.”

Nurse Me­gan Collins said the twins -- whose names mean “Sun” and “Moon” -- par­tic­u­larly liked watch­ing videos of The Wig­gles chil­dren’s mu­sic group.

“They’ll do lit­tle dance moves with their hands and what not, so it’s re­ally nice to see them sep­a­rated but they’re still re­ally happy and want­ing to be close to one an­other.”

The girls’ mother, Bhum­chu Zangmo, was ini­tially dis­ori­ented to see her daugh­ters in sep­a­rate beds fol­low­ing the op­er­a­tion, Mel­bourne’s The Age news­pa­per re­ported Thurs­day.

“She was con­fused. They had their po­si­tion ear­lier,” Tshe­wang Cho­den, a Bhutanese nurse trav­el­ling with the fam­ily, told the news­pa­per.

“We had to ask the nurses and doc­tors out there [which twin was which].”

The fam­ily ar­rived in Aus­tralia a month ago with the help of an Aus­tralian char­ity, but doc­tors had de­layed the surgery to en­sure the twins were well-enough nour­ished to sur­vive the op­er­a­tion.

Bhutan is a poor Hi­malayan king­dom where doc­tors did not have the ex­per­tise to sep­a­rate the girls, who were joined from the chest to the waist.

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