Conjoined twins embrace split life

By Huu Khoa   September 19, 2020 | 03:59 pm GMT+7
A pair of conjoined twins separated successfully in July are slowly learning to stand on their own two feet.
Conjoined twins embrace split life

Hoang Truc Nhi and Hoang Dieu Nhi practice using spoons to eat. Both undergo daily physical therapy at 2 p.m. at HCMC Children's Hospital. Most exercises also involve their parents (L and R).

The twins, now 14 months old, used to be conjoined at the pelvis. They were classified Ischiopagus Tetrapus (Quadripus) conjoined twins for having a symmetrical continuous longitudinal axis with their area of union not broken anteriorly. If a pair of conjoined twins is born for every 200,000 births, only 6 percent are classified thus, doctors said.

Around 100 doctors and nurses from major southern Vietnam hospitals participated in their separation surgery in July.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

A physical therapist helps Truc Nhi sit up by herself and stretch her pelvic muscles.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

The mother (R), Tran Thi Hong Thuy, supports Dieu Nhi to perform a bridge exercise, which helps train muscles in the hips and legs for walking.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

The twins perform their exercises in a colorful and stimulating environment. These exercises also help stimulate their somatosensory, vestibular systems and balance when sitting, said Do Thi Bich Thuan, head of the hospital's Occupational Therapy Department.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

Truc Nhi practices standing by herself while leaning on a steel frame, supported by her mother (L) and a physical therapist.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

The girls play on plasma cars at the Occupational Therapy Department before continuing therapy. Riding the cars also helps them improve their balance.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

After physical exercise, the girls move on to language therapy to develop their communication, pre-reading, and pre-writing skills. These exercises take about 10 minutes.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

Truc Nhi crawls under the supervision of Doctor Nguyen Thi Cam Xuyen. She can now stand on her own and apply force with her arms.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

Truc Nhi flashes a smile for the camera.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

Dieu Nhi sways to the music.

The twins' health are improving well, said the therapy department head Thuan, adding their legs have moved closer together and are growing stronger, allowing them to stand briefly by leaning on objects.

"I hope that in the next two months, when the girls can stand firmly with straight legs and without leaning on things, they could learn to walk," she said.

Conjoined twins embrace split life

Dieu Nhi kisses her sister.

Thuy, the mother, said: "Seeing my children healthy and able to move around, I was relieved to the point of shedding tears. Our family would like to thank the doctors and nurses for having helped our girls to be as healthy as they are today."

 
 
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