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For this historic surgery, kudos Kenyatta National Hospital

By Paul Wafula | Wednesday, Nov 16th 2016 at 10:18
The operation that lasted for 23 hours to separate the conjoined twins led to the running cost of Sh160 million, according to Dr Joel Lessan

The two-year-old story of conjoined twins Blessing and Favour who underwent a successful operation at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), first appeared in The Nairobian Defender.

The twin girls were joined at the pelvis.

The team of doctors had several meetings and rehearsed the delicate operation first on paper and then on 3D imaging, countless times. The operation that lasted for 23 hours to separate the conjoined twins led to the running cost of Sh160 million, according to Dr Joel Lessan.

Their jovial mother, Caroline Mukiri, told The Defender on phone that, “When you ask Blessing where your sister is, she still looks at her back where she expects to find her since they were conjoined.”

The 27 year-old -from North Imenti Constituency in Meru County added: “They have started eating small quantiles of food and are responding very well to medication and have started looking for one another.”

The Nairobian Defender today celebrates KNH from where the mother of Blessing and Favour had almost lost hope after the surgery that separated her babies was continually postponed. She wrote to the Defender early this year after KNH went silent on her case.

But as it turned out, KNH was working round the clock behind the scenes preparing for the operation. The twins had been admitted in the Paediatric Surgical Ward, on September 5, 2014 where they had to allow development of key organs and also enable them gain appropriate muscles to withstand the surgery.

The lead surgeon, Dr Fred Kambuni, explained that the operation was a milestone since they had to separate the two to allow the wounds to heal without contamination from the stool. At the same time, they had to allow the children to pass stool. The children now have to wait for a year for reconstructive anal surgery.

Their mother took her time to consent to the operation and she recalls,

“I had initially refused and left it to God since I feared I may lose them. It has not been an easy journey, but I thank God for the successful operation. I have been complaining that God doesn’t love me, but for sure He has been my closest friend. I was wondering how my story will end, but in my mind, I never thought of giving up on God.”

The hospital special room on Ward 4 had become her house for two years. She is looking forward to the day they would walk out of the hospital gates.

Indeed, history has been made. Well done Kenyatta National Hospital! You have shown the world that we have what it takes.

“I would like to thank God for giving doctors the expertise to separate my babies. I would like to thank all those who have been encouraging me and especially The Nairobian Defender who were so close to me during the hard times. God bless you,” concluded Caroline.

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