According to Lead surgeon Emmanuel Ameh, the operation to separate the Martins at the chest and abdomen took place in November and the two sisters are now in good condition.
The complicated operation amounting to about $55,000 lasted for about 12 hours and it involved 78 doctors who worked in two groups.
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As reported by the BBC, the medics at National Hospital Abuja did not charge for their work because the twins’ parents, Michael Edeh, a painter and his unemployed wife could not afford the medical bills.
The couple had first brought their daughters in August 2018 just after their birth to the hospital in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja but the doctors couldn’t operate on them immediately as they were not well enough.
They received care at the government-owned hospital for 15 months until they were considered strong enough for the operation.
Although the hospital has separated about 11 conjoined twins over the last 20 years, Goodness and Mercy’s case stood out as it was the first time an operation had involved the lower chest wall, liver, and diaphragm, according to the hospital’s medical director, Jaff Momoh.
In the previous cases, all the twins had been joined at the abdomen.
Reacting to the successful completion of the operation, the girls’ father said he was so happy to see his daughters alive and well enough to return home.
According to their mother, on the 13th of August 2018 when the babies were born at the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi Nasarawa state, through a cesarean session, she felt heartbroken but now she’s full of smiles.
While the minister of health reportedly paid a visit to the hospital to meet the family and applaud the doctors for their efforts, unemployed Mrs. Martin has been promised a job by the women’s affairs minister.