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Baby Sisters Given New Lives

Two-month-old twins Wu Xinyue and Wu Xinchen received possibly the best present of their precious lives yesterday-independence.


The baby girls were born joined at the chest and the stomach but after a four-and-half-hour operation, surgeons said the sisters have freedom.


"Everything went well and followed our schedule and we believe the surgery is very successful. Both girls are in a stable condition and under close watch in our Intensive Care Unit," said Professor Jin Huiming, vice director of the Paediatric Surgery Department at Shanghai Xinhua Hospital.


Xinyue and Xinchen traveled from their home in Shanxi Province with dad Wu Liwen, 29 and mum Lu Xiaoxia, 30.


Thankfully, each girl had their own internal organs such as heart and liver.


Mum Xiaoxia gave birth to her new daughters after caesarean surgery on March 17 in Changzhi.


Both girls were in healthy condition before the surgery despite a slight infection respiratory problem contracted on their long, 17-hour journey to hospital.


"A nursing team has been caring for the twins 24 hours a day," said Shan Zhiying, nursing director of the Paediatric Department.


Eight surgeons took part in the operation.


The twins are expected to be released from hospital in about two weeks, doctors said.


"We didn't realize the twins were conjoined until my wife struggled in labor for five hours," said dad Wu Liwen. "The ultra-B sound test results surprised us when it showed the girls were conjoined twins," he added.


Though the hospital provided the surgery for free, the family with an annual income less than 7,000 yuan (US$847.5) face financial pressure as after-care costs are expected to mount.



(China Daily June 2, 2005)




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