Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Girl Has Parasitic Twin Surgically Removed

I cannot imagine what this young woman has gone through, both in terms of living for years with the body of her sister attached physically attached to her own and then having the body removed surgically. It is truly an amazing story.

This story originally aired on BBC in the UK in November of last year. Here is how the girl's story is summarized.
On the surface Workitu Debebet looks like any other teenage girl. But the 17-year-old has spent her young life hiding an incredible secret -- a parasitic twin, including two arms and two legs, fused to her pelvis. Workitu was raised thinking she was normal and reached her late teens without treatment because her poor parents had no way of accessing expert medical care. But Workitu's life has finally been transformed after a team of expert surgeons performed pioneering surgery to separate her from her unborn conjoined twin. Now, the teenager is going to school and making friends for the first time and is looking forward to having a career, getting married and even having children of her own. A new documentary series reveals the amazing courage of Workitu and her family who tried everything to help her, despite prejudice in her community against people with disabilities. Doctors at CURE Hospital In Addis Ababa were amazed when they saw Workitu, who is thought to be the oldest person still to be living with a visible parasitic twin attached to their body. Dr Eric Gokcen, the hospital's medical director, said: "It was something I had never seen before. A parasitic twin is actually rarer than conjoined twins. But as a physician, when I look at patients with a problem, my mind starts thinking about what I am going to do to help them." In an eight-hour surgery, the team carefully removed the outer body but left the extra internal organs because they were working fine. Workitu spent the next three months in hospital but healed perfectly and is now looking forward to her future.
Similarly, this little Indian boy named Deepak is a few countries away from Workitu in Ethiopia. He also hosted a parasitic twin for many years of his life.

God bless Workitu, Deepak, the doctors who operated on them, and both their families!!


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