One of the Palestinian conjoined twins from the Gaza Strip separated this week in surgery in Saudi Arabia has died but her sister is recovering, the kingdom said Saturday.
“Haneen is in stable condition and on her way to recovery five days after being surgically separated from her clinically dead sister, Farah,” the Saudi information ministry said.
“Haneen is breathing normally and is receiving her nutrition intravenously,” said Dr. Abdullah al-Rabiah, who led the operation team.
Rabiah said that all of the Palestinian infant’s vital signs were now stable and that she had been removed from an artificial respirator.
The operation was carried out on Monday and involved the separation of multiple organs, including the liver, as well as restoring organs in Haneen.
The surgery came months after a doctor and family member of the twins pleaded from Gaza that they be allowed to go abroad for the complex surgery.
Allam Abu Hamda, head of the neonatal unit at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, said in October the girls were born joined at the stomach and pelvis and that the complicated condition could not be dealt with in the enclave.
This is the third case of Siamese twins being born in Gaza in recent years.
Last year, twins were born sharing their entire bodies and organs, except the head, heart and lungs. They did not survive.
In 2010 conjoined twins from Gaza were transferred to Saudi Arabia for surgery, but doctors in Riyadh said their condition was too delicate for an operation, and they died.
Saudi Arabia has a national program to treat cases of conjoined twins for poor families from around the world that cannot afford the surgery. The program has dealt with over 41 cases since 1990, from over 20 countries, according to the Saudi-based news site Arab News.