Separated twins ‘reach for each other’
It might be three days after conjoined twins Nima and Dawa were separated during a delicate six-hour surgery, but in a heartwarming moment, the girls continue to "reach our for each other".
The 15-month-olds Bhutanese twins were still lying together on Monday as they recovered from a separation surgery at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital.
"They've been lying together in the same bed," Julie Webber spokeswoman for the Children's Hospital said, confirming the girls remained in a stable condition.
"The nurses placed them together … they were getting a bit restless."
"They were reaching out for each other, putting their legs across each other as they did when they were joined." Ms Webber told AAP after visiting the girls on Monday afternoon, saying they were doing "extremely well", clapping, tugging each other's hair and eating solids.
It took a team of up to 25 surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists to split the girls' connected livers and reconstruct their abdomens, closing over the area that was previously attached.
While the girls emerged strong from their surgery, the decision was made to move them into the high-needs area, but they continue to recover well and are expected to be in hospital for about a week.
Originally, the separation surgery was planned for October 12, but had to be postponed to allow the girls to build their strength and overcome ill health after the long journey from their Himalayan home.
Last week, before the twins' operation, mother Bhumchu Zangmo told the Herald Sun she had mixed emotions about the surgery but, after waiting more than a year for help, she was desperate for Nima and Dawa to be given a shot at separation.
"At times I am very happy it is now going ahead but, at the same time, I am a bit worried about whether everything will go as planned," she said at the time.
"Looking back, I think it was a wise decision by the doctors to delay the surgery. They have put on weight and got used to the environment here."
After waiting six hours for the marathon operation to complete, Ms Zangmo wore a beaming smile, finding it amusing when people joked about carrying a child on each hip, she said.
The procedure and recovery are expected to cost at least $350,000 and the Victorian government has offered to pay the bill, AAP reported.
Other funds raised will go towards the twins' rehabilitation and return home.