Conjoined Benhaffaf twins leave intensive care after op

Conjoined twins Hassan and Hussein before separation

Former conjoined twins Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf have left intensive care following an operation to separate them in a London hospital.

The five-month-old boys from Cork, Irish Republic, have been moved to a surgical ward. They underwent the 14-hour surgery last month.

Doctors say they are pleased with their recovery and progress. Parents Angie and Azzedine Benhaffaf said: “We cannot believe we got our happy ending.”  A statement from Great Ormond Street Hospital said the boys were breathing unaided and being bottle fed, and were placed in a cot together on Wednesday for the first time since the operation.

Mr and Mrs Benhaffaf said: “We’ve enjoyed our first cuddles since their separation and they were worth the long wait.  “The boys were reunited for the first time and it was very emotional to see them back together, in each other’s arms.”  They added: “Their sisters Malika and Iman are getting used to their brothers being apart and are looking forward to holding each of the twins.”  The operation involved about 20 medical staff, including four surgeons and four anaesthetists, working in shifts.

The team had previously dealt with 21 separations and nine inoperable cases.  The brothers were born on 2 December at University College London Hospital and went home to East Cork in January, before returning to London for the operation.

A special fund was set up in Ireland to help their parents cover medical costs.

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