14-Month-Old Conjoined Twins from Bhutan Arrive in Australia For Separation Surgery

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Conjoined twin girls endured a long flight from Bhutan to Australia, where surgeons hope to separate the toddlers joined at the stomach who are unable to sit or walk.

The 14-month-old girls are beginning to tire of being stuck together, face-to-face. "Mum said the girls are getting a little frustrated with each other," said Elizabeth Lodge, head of a charity that brought Nima and Dawa Pelden to Melbourne, along with their mother, Bhumchu Zangmo.

The daughters are joined at the lower torso and share a liver. "The girls are losing weight," Lodge told reporters in Australia. "They've been in hospital in recent weeks getting some extra nutrition, so mum's really keen for them to get here."

Nima and Dawa must undergo extensive tests to develop a surgery plan that focuses on the liver. Physicians don't yet know whether the girls share a bowel tract. 

Pediatric surgeon Joe Crameri said his team's goal is to separate the children in a single procedure. He was optimistic, he said, that the babies would grow up to be fully functionally individuals.

"We just want to facilitate a good outcome for these twins to go home and live a normal life," he said. 


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