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The father refuses to choose which of the twins lives

The parents of Siamese twins refused to make the excruciating choice as to the survival of their baby.

The Abdul-Khaliq and Abdul-Rahim twins were born in war-torn Yemen in January and are united from neck to foot.

Their rare disease, called parapagus dicephalus, has a low survival rate.

But their father, Akram Ali Ahmed, 20, insisted that he did not want the twins to be separated – or that one of them be sacrificed to save the other child's life.

"I do not want anything to happen to my kids. I do not want them to be separated or one to die for the other, "he said.

"I want them both in the same body. I do not oppose what God has given me. "

Heartbreaking decision

A Yemeni doctor examines the twins.
A Yemeni doctor examines the twins.EPA

The twins spent their first days in an intensive care incubator at Al-Thawra Hospital and would be relatively stable until now.

But Faisal al-Babli, head of the children's department, fears that their health will deteriorate if they are not displaced from the war-torn country.

He is now asking for funds and help to move children out of Yemen.

Medical capacity in Yemen is very low, especially in the light of the ongoing war, and doctors worry that babies will not succeed.

Al-Balbi told EPA: "This is a unique case in Yemen: two children in a body with two heads, two hearts, two lungs, two stomachs and two dorsal. They share only the pelvis and the limbs of two hands and two legs.

War-torn country

Dicephalic twins rarely survive in adulthood.
Dicephalic twins rarely survive in adulthood.EPA

"Their health situation is relatively stable so far," said Al-Balbi. "They sometimes have artificial respiration."

"We are currently seeking funds and assistance to be able to provide health care adapted to their very critical state of health and bring them out of Yemen.

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

Yemen is currently facing a civil war between the Houthi insurgents, who control the capital, and the government backed by the international community.

The fighting has caused a historic humanitarian crisis in the region, with medical and food supplies becoming scarce.

The dicephalic twins, who share a pelvis, were registered to reach adulthood, but only without complications associated with their heart, lung and bowel formations.

In some cases, Siamese twins may be separated, but success depends on the shared organs and the skill of the surgeons.


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