Abuja, Nigeria — Mercy and Goodness Ede, twin sisters who were born conjoined at the chest and abdomen, were successfully separated after a surgery completed by a 78-member team at the National Hospital in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.
“We are just happy and proud that the team that worked on this surgery were all Nigerians. It was done in Nigeria, and the parents didn’t have to go outside the country,” National Hospital spokesman Dr. Tayo Haastrup told CNN, noting that it was the first successful surgery on conjoined twins at the hospital.
The conjoined sisters were born in August but the doctors were only able to perform the operation in November due to some complications.
“We needed to determine if they could live independently when they are separated. We found out that they were sharing a diaphragm and one liver was serving both of them, but all other organs were separate,” said pediatric surgeon Emmanuel Ameh, who led the operating team.
Aside from having conjoined parts, the twins also suffered from a condition known as omphalocele, a birth defect that left a section of their intestines outside their navels.
The twins underwent a complicated and dangerous 13-hour surgery six weeks ago. The hospital was only able to release its details recently that they have ensured there were no post-surgery complications.
Moreover, the surgery, which would cost about thousands of dollars, was done free of charge at the government-run hospital to not burden the twin’s parents who were working menial jobs.