Twins stable after separation surgery


Conjoined Irish twin boys, Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf, were who separated in 14 hour surgery last week remain in a stable condition in the intensive care unit at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSCH) in London.

It is understood doctors in the UK are pleased with the progress of the twins but a source close to the family says it will be many weeks before the ongoing recovery of the boys from major surgery is over. A progress bulletin is expected to be released later this week by Dr Edward Kiely who headed the complicated separation surgery of the four month old boys.

The boys’ parents Angie and Azzedine, who hail from Carrigtwohill in Co Cork are currently being filmed for an ITN “Tonight” documentary which will air in mid May.

Mrs Benhaffaf felt that she was helped by seeing documentaries on previous cases of conjoined twins, and her strong feeling was that she should ensure that a documentary should also be made of her family’s experience in order to help others in due course.

Meanwhile, she is keeping a record of media coverage that her boys will be able to see in the fullness of time. The ‘box’ of newspaper cuttings is filling rapidly and the family also are keeping links to RTE and TV3 footage relating to the boys.

Around 20 staff, including four anaesthetists and four surgeons led by Cork born Dr Kiely worked in shifts during the complex procedure, which began at GOSCH in London at 8.30am last Wednesday.

Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital is the most experienced centre in Europe for the separation of conjoined twins, with the teams having dealt with 21 separations and nine inoperable cases to date.

It is understood the twins were conjoined at the chest area but didn’t share any vital organs, making separation possible.

Fundraising is also continuing for the Benhaffaf’s as the family will remain in London for the coming months pending the release of Hassan and Hussein from hospital.

The Little Fighters Fundraising account is at the Permanent TSB’s Patrick Street branch in Cork: sort code 99-07-03, account no: 16556196.