Twins reunited after separation surgery

Conjoined twins Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf were reunited today for the first time since the mammoth operation to separate them.

The five-month-old boys are recovering well following the 14-hour operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital (Gosh) on April 7 and were moved out of intensive care at the weekend.



Parents Angie and Azzedine Benhaffaf, from East Cork, in Ireland, said: "We are happy to announce that Hassan and Hussein have left the intensive care unit and are doing well.



"We've enjoyed our first cuddles since their separation and they were worth the long wait.



"The boys were reunited for the first time today and it was very emotional to see them back together, in each other's arms."



A spokeswoman for the central London children's hospital said the boys - dubbed "the little fighters" by their parents - had been moved to a surgical ward and were able to breathe unaided and feed from a bottle.



Mr and Mrs Benhaffaf said in a statement released through Gosh: "Our two little fighters have lived up to their name!



"It feels just like a miracle and we cannot believe we got our happy ending. Thanks to everyone for your continued support.



"Their sisters, Malika and Iman, are getting used to their brothers being apart and are looking forward to holding each of the twins."



The hospital spokeswoman said: "Twins Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf left the intensive care unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital at the weekend and are now on a surgical ward.



"They are breathing unaided and are being bottle-fed.



"Doctors at the hospital continue to be pleased by their progress and recovery.



"Earlier today, the boys were placed in the same cot together for the first time since they underwent separation surgery in April."



The brothers were born last December at the University College London Hospital.



They went home to East Cork in January and a special fund was set up to help their parents cover medical costs.



The family returned to London in March to prepare for the surgery.



Conjoined twins are extremely rare, occurring once in every 200,000 births when a single fertilised egg splits to form twins but the separation is incomplete.

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