RADIO AUSTRALIA NEWS
Last Updated: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 15:11:00 +1100
Trishna, one of the conjoined twins who underwent a marathon operation as part of a series of procedures in the process of seperation.
Surgeons at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital have separated conjoined Bangladeshi twins Krishna and Trishna in an operation that lasted 26 hours.
The girls from Bangladesh are almost three years old and had been joined at the head.
A team of 16 doctors and nurses at the Royal Melbourne Hospital separated the twins in an operation that lasted more than 26 hours.
Following the operation, Trishna and Krishna were both in a stable condition in intensive care, and doctors said they were not showing any sign of brain damage.
The hospital's chief of surgery, Leo Donnan, said it was amazing to see the twins separated.
"Getting to that point, when everyone has known these girls as one, with their individual personalities, to see them as separate human beings is a pretty amazing moment," he said.
The girls' guardian, Moira Kelly, sees herself as their mother.
Ms Kelly said when she heard the operation had separated the girls, she sat in her room and cried for 15 minutes with "joy and relief".
"When they called me and told me they were separate... they told me little Trishie was back, but I said I needed to see them both," she said.
"I couldn't believe it but they were in two cots. And I stood in the middle - in the middle of these two brave, brave little girls - and I'd never done that before.
"I keep shaking my head - it's a bit like the Twilight Zone. I keep thinking they're someone else's babies."
The twins were brought to Australia for medical treatment two years ago by the Children First Foundation, after their biological mother left them in an orphanage.
Ms Kelly says she could not be more grateful to the doctors, nurses and specialists at the Royal Melbourne Hospital who have taken care of the twins since then.
She says every nurse that has seen the twins after the operation has cried and the doctors have been hugging one another.
"I think it's made us all better people," she said.
"I just want every Australian to know that these are the heroes in our country, these doctors at the children's hospital.
"As Australians we should be very proud that we've done such a thing. This is what money should be spent on."
The twins have undergone more tests and scans but the results are not yet known.
Ms Kelly says she is trying not to worry.
"Trishna and Krishna are alive and they're separate, and what more could anyone ask for?" she said.
"They're so beautiful," she added.
"I know Trishna and Krishna will become wonderful young women and ambassadors."