Having battled the impossible, Jaga and Balia, the conjoined twins from Odisha's Kandhamal district, who were joined at the head and separated after a marathon surgery at the AIIMS in New Delhi, celebrated their third birthday at the premier medical institute today.
Having battled the impossible, Jaga and Balia, the conjoined twins from Odisha’s Kandhamal district, who were joined at the head and separated after a marathon surgery at the AIIMS in New Delhi, celebrated their third birthday at the premier medical institute today. This was their first birthday after the surgery that was performed in October last year.
According to the doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jaga is now able to walk on his own and feeding well, while Balia’s conditions are consistently improving.
The doctors said Balia was breathing well through a tracheostomy tube and taking oral feeds of custard, yogurt or bananas, adding that he did not have any fits of late and was being mobilised by a physiotherapy and rehabilitation team on a wheelchair.
“Both will require a series of plastic surgery operations and a replacement of the bone flap in the head after a minimum of three to five years from now,” the AIIMS said in a statement.
The AIIMS had, in a reply to a notice to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recently, said the twins were “clinically” well and did not need ICU or specialised care.
It had also told the human rights panel that the medical requirements of the twins could be managed at any state-level hospital in Odisha that had a good nursing and paediatric support.
Jaga and Balia were craniopagus conjoined twins — joined at the head — which is a very rare occurrence. They were successfully separated after a 21-hour surgery at the AIIMS in October last year.
The NHRC had last month asked for an action-taken report from the AIIMS on a petition that sought to prevent the shifting of the twins to a hospital in Odisha.
The petition was filed by Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy, who had claimed that the AIIMS, Bhubaneswar did not have the essential infrastructure for the treatment and care of the twins.
The boys from Milipada village in Odisha’s Kandhamal district were likely to be sent back to the state in the second week of March, the petition had stated.
The senior doctors dealing with the twins felt that they could be shifted to any state-level medical college or district hospital with a good nursing and paediatric support near their hometown in Odisha, the AIIMS had said in its reply to the NHRC.
“The team has reached a conclusion that after four months of surgery, the risk to life is very low and there is no need for ICU or specialised care. Currently, they need good nutrition…and physiotherapy care for a continued recovery,” it had said.
It would be easier for the parents to nurse the children in their home state as “they have been away for over eight months now”, the institute had said. The constraint of beds in the neurosurgery department, CN centre, AIIMS, New Delhi, could not be ignored and there was an over-two-years waiting period for general neurosurgery ward admissions, it had said.