Odisha: Only one of separated conjoined twins returns to home district

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Cuttack/Phulbani (Odisha), Mar 22 (PTI) Around four years after the conjoined twin brothers left their home district of Kandhamal in 2017 to get a new life, only one of them, Jaga, returned on Monday.

Jaga and his twin brother Kalia were joined at the head from their birth in 2015. They were successfully separated in AIIMS New Delhi in 2017 but Kalia died in November last year at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

After a team of doctors declared him fit to travel, Jaga along with his parents left the Cuttack facility in the afternoon and reached the Kandhamal district headquarters hospital at Phulbani near their village at night, an official said at Phulbani.

Two doctors accompanied them during the journey.

'The patient will henceforth be under the treatment of the district hospital and in case of any emergency, facilities of the SCB Hospital facilities will always be made available to him,' the Cuttack referral hospital's emergency officer Dr B N Moharana said.

Jaga is likely to go under the scalpel again for a skull reconstruction surgery, he said.

Sources said that special arrangements have been made for Jagas treatment at the district hospital, where a team of doctors comprising surgeons and paediatricians will keep a watch on the health condition of the boy.

The six-year-old was shifted to the Phulbani hospital following an application from his parents who had left their Milipada village under Phiringia block in July 2017.

Born to Bhuyan Kandar and Puspanjali Kandar, the twins were suffering from a rare craniopagus disorder. They were admitted to AIIMS on July 13, 2017 with the help of the Odisha government.

The twins had undergone two marathon surgeries that year. The first phase of the surgery was performed on August 28 when the doctors created a venous bypass to separate the veins shared by the babies that return blood to the heart from the brain.

The final separation of the duo was performed by a team of around 30 specialists from the institute's neurosurgery, neuro-anaesthesia and plastic surgery departments on October 25.

After staying in the New Delhi hospital for over two years, the twins were shifted to the Cuttack facility on October 27, 2017.

Following the surgery, Jaga's condition improved rapidly but Kalia was found to be suffering from certain deficiencies and he died of pneumonia and septicaemia on November 25 last year.

The condition, which the twins suffered from, afflicted one in 30 lakh children, of which 50 per cent die either at birth or within 24 hours, doctors who treated them said.

The successful surgery that separated the heads of the conjoined twins was featured in the 2020 edition of the Limca Book of Records as the first such operation in the country.