Twin sisters from the Central African Republic joined at the skull were successfully separated following a lengthy surgery at Gesu Bambino, the pope’s pediatric hospital in Rome.
The conjoined 2-year-old girls were born with “one of the rarest and most complex forms of cranial and cerebral fusion,” said doctors at the Vatican-owned hospital, according to CRUX.
The surgery was completed on June 5, requiring 30 specialists and taking 18 hours to complete. The girls, Ervina and Prefina, are expected to recover fully and are reportedly in good condition. They will wear special protective helmets for a few months to prevent damage to their skulls.
Ervina and Prefina were born in June 2018 in Mbaiki, a small town in the landlocked country in central Africa. The Central African Republic is slightly smaller than the state of Texas with a population of just under 6 million, according to the CIA World Factbook.
In Bangui, the capital city, the family met with the Vatican hospital director who orchestrated their transfer to Rome for the surgery. The team of medical experts found that one sister’s heart was working notably harder than the other’s to maintain the physiological balance of the organs in both sisters, including the brain. According to the hospital, the twins have “distinct” personalities, one vivacious and playful, the other more serious and quiet.
“It was an exciting moment: A fantastic, unrepeatable experience,” Dr. Carlo Marras, the head of Neurosurgery of the Bambino Gesu and of the chief of the team that separated the twins, said.
“It was a very ambitious goal and we did everything we could to achieve it, with passion, optimism and joy. By sharing each step, studying every single detail together,” he added.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter