Ireland's famous "little fighters" — conjoined twin babies Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf — have been successfully separated in a 14-hour long operation at a London hospital.
The operation involved 20 medical staff and four four surgeons.
Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital said the operaion was a sucess, but that the next few days would be a critical time for the now-separated twins from County Cork. Both are sedated.
In a statement, parents Angie and Azzedine Benhaffaf, said: “The sun is shining today for our two little fighters, who have won the battle of their lives! Words cannot express the relief and love we feel for our two boys.
"We thank God, we thank the surgeons and the gifted team at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and we thank from the bottom of our hearts the Irish nation and everyone who prayed for our beloved twins.
"We are so proud of the courage and strength that Hassan and Hussein have shown, and they both have made the world a much better place with them in it.”
The family flew to the famous hospital in London two weeks ago to prepare for the operation. The boys were joined at the chest but did not share any major organs.
Earlier, the twins' mother had written a poem expressing the pain and hope she and her husband felt:
"The little fighters' is the name ye share
You have earned it well, as you fought to be here
Your final battle is getting near
We are all behind you, so have no fear.
No matter how this will all end,
I am forever grateful for the time we did spend.
Always remember, you are not alone/
Please God someday, we'll all return home
I feel I must be one of the luckiest mums
To have not one, but two precious sons."
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