In March 2021, we were contacted by the team at the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, Israel. There, we were introduced to our fourth set of craniopagus twins: twin girls born just months before in the local area.
Over the next months, we worked closely with the team at Soroka to plan the surgery. In September, we travelled to Israel to perform the final separation surgery. It marked several firsts for the Gemini Untwined team: the first time we would operate outside of the UK; the first time such a surgery would be performed in Israel; and the first time the Gemini team would lead a cross-border group to perform the surgery.
The surgery itself lasted 12 hours, but the bulk of the work was done in the months prior, over a six-month period which included the creation of 3D VR models of the twins so the process could be visualised and adapted prior to execution.
The operation was a resounding success, due to the brilliant effort of the Gemini Untwined and the Soroka Medical Centre teams, who were able to draw on Mr Jeelani’s years of experience, leadership, and guidance in theatre.
When told that their daughters remained together but apart, separated, and healthy, the twins’ parents “were just over the moon”.
“I have never in my life seen a person smile, cry, be happy, and be relieved at the same time,” shared Mr Jeelani. “The mother simply couldn’t believe it, we had to pull up a chair to help her to calm down.”
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