Identical twins, Lydia and Linda Awui who were born conjoined and were separated at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in 1999, three months after their birth, called on former President Jerry John Rawlings on Friday to thank him for his kind support in ensuring that the bill for the procedure was taken care of.
Accompanied by their parents, Eunice and Benjamin Awui, Madam Benedicta Lasi and Dr. Appeadu-Mensah who was one of the pediatric surgeons who undertook the landmark surgery twenty years ago, the delegation thanked the former President for intervening to ensure the cost of the surgery was taken care of when he was President in 1999.
The twins and their parents presented the former President with a plaque and adorned him with beads to express their appreciation for his support.
Lydia and Linda who live in Odumase Krobo and have led a generally healthy life since their separation, have recently completed their secondary education at Akwamuman Senior High, Akosombo and are hopeful of studying medicine at the university.
Dr. Appeadu-Mensah explained to the former President that the two were joined in the abdomen and had a common liver. He said there were two sets of surgeons and anesthetists who participated in the six-hour procedure.
Former President Rawlings thanked the twins and their parents for the visit and congratulated the medical team who undertook the successful separation procedure for a “fantastic job”. He was happy to see Dr. Appeadu-Mensah, stating:
“I am so glad somebody is here representing such level of skill. It’s always a pleasure and honour to meet people like you who always perform miracles. It’s a real wonder they made it, listening to the statistics.”
Dr. Kwesi Senanu Djokoto, personal physician and aide to the former President said, “for us to see them 20 years on, living a very normal life is a phenomenon on its own. He praised former President Rawlings for facilitating the surgery. The surgery in 1999 was something to celebrate because the procedure spoke of the technological advancements of our medical personnel even at that time.”
Dr. Djokoto disclosed that conjoined twins are an extreme phenomenon occurring in about 1 in 189,000 births with approximately half stillborn and a third dying with 24 hours of birth.