Father refuses to choose which conjoined twin lives

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Abdul-Khaliq and Abdul-Rahim were born in Yemen in January. EPA
Abdul-Khaliq and Abdul-Rahim were born in Yemen in January. EPA

The parents of conjoined twins have refused to make the agonizing choice over which of their babies will survive.

The twins, Abdul-Khaliq and Abdul-Rahim, were born in war-torn Yemen in January and are joined from the neck down.

Their rare condition, which is known as parapagus dicephalus, has a low survival rate.

But their father, Akram Ali Ahmed, 20, has insisted that he does not want the twins to be separated — or for one of them to be sacrificed to save the other child’s life.

“I want nothing to happen to my children. I don’t want them to be separated and nor for one of them to die for the sake of the other,” he said.

“I want them both in one body. I do not object to what God has given me.”

Heartbreaking decision

A Yemeni medic checks up on the twins.EPA
A Yemeni medic checks up on the twins.EPA

The twins spent their first few days in an incubator in intensive care at Al-Thawra hospital and are said to be fairly stable so far.

But Faisal al-Babli, head of the children’s department, fears that their health will decline if they are not moved from the war-stricken country.

He is now pleading for funding and assistance to move the children outside of Yemen.

The medical capabilities in Yemen are very poor, especially in light of the ongoing war, and the doctors fear the babies will not make it.

Al-Balbi told EPA: “It is a unique case in Yemen — two children in one body with two heads, two hearts, two lungs, two stomachs and two backbones. They share only the pelvis and limbs of two hands and two legs.”

War-torn country

Dicephalic twins rarely survive to adulthood.EPA
Dicephalic twins rarely survive to adulthood.EPA

“Their health situation is fairly stable so far,” Al-Balbi said. “They are sometimes given artificial respiration.”

“We are currently looking for funding and assistance so that we can provide appropriate healthcare for their very critical health status and move them out of Yemen.

“We hope that international organizations concerned with the health of children and newborns to help save this two-headed baby.”

Yemen is gripped by a civil war between Houthi insurgents, who control the capital, and the internationally backed government.

The fighting has brought about a historic humanitarian crisis in the region as medical and food supplies have become scarce.

Dicephalic twins, who share a pelvis, have been recorded to reach adulthood, but only without complications associated with their heart, lung and intestine formations.

In some cases, conjoined twins can be separated, but the success depends on which organs are shared and the skill of the surgeons.

Source: Nypost.com