Monday, April 20, 2009

Separating twins con-joint in the head.

When I lived in Singapore, in 2001, I was involved with the separation of  Siamese Twins 
I was actively organising a drive to raise funds  and I got to know the parents and their grand father. I was very privileged to see Ganga and Jamuna while they were still conjointed in their heads. Their mum, Mrs. Shrestha asked me why I worked so hard for her babies. I told her about my deceased son Andrew, I didn't have a chance to fight for Andrew. But if I thought her daughters had a chance, I wanted to give my utmost to  Mrs. Shrestha to fight for the survival of her baies.
The separation process was a success, but things didn't end up happily ever after. Ganga died, and Jamuna is not exactly a healthy child.
Then the doctors operated on a pair of adult conjoint twins from Iran. Ladan and Laleh Bijani were leading successful lives. The operation failed, and they died.
My opinion of the doctors changed. Why did they go ahead with the operation? Were they getting too ambitious?
Now, they are having another chance, Indian twins Vani and Veena, five, may go under the knife at East Shore Hospital in August if the medical team under the same Neurosurgeon Keith Gohdecides to proceed with the operation.
For me, I say no more, the risk is too great.
My achived photo taken with Mrs. Shrestha seated on the hospital bed, my friend Manchala and a Nepalese visitor.


Ruth said...

Such an difficult and expensive undertaking. I suppose doctors see it as a challenge, and we expect so much from modern medical science. I tend to agree with your opinion though. Often too much is attempted and much suffering occurs. Interesting that you have first hand experience with this.

Bitsa Lit said...

That was a great blog and very thought provoking. I dont think that I would go near the seperation surgeries yet because there have been so many failures and so many lives lost...it just isnt worth the risk involved. I find it sad that this happened to babies that hadent began to live and women that had sucessful lives despite their situation. It is just heart wrenching.

alicesg said...

Ann, sorry about the loss of your son.

I wish to be neutral on this. Because of the failure of the operation, fingers were pointed at the doctors but what if is a success.

On the part of the doctors, I guess they wanted a sucess surgery story and also to help the patients but never expect the complications (especially in the case of the Iran twins).

On the other hands, the twins (Lala and Ladan) were so determined to be separated despite knowing that one of them or both would die.

Can you imagine if they did not separate and when one of them die, they would be watching/sleeping besides the dead twin. I read the case of the siamese twin the Chang and Eng Brothers one die of hypertension while the other "die of fright".

If you asked me I really dont have the answer whether to agree or not agree that they separate.

Unknown said...

I don't support the separation but I have to keep an open mind. If there were no attempts, there would be no success stories down the road. Throughout history, successes came after many failures. Media surrounds us and we get to know what maybe going on, all the failures in the past, we didn't hear about them. I am a Christian and thinks what God has made, we shouldn't alter. But if things were successful, it could mean that God gave us the intelligence. Perhaps, it is too early in medicine.