Surgeons from Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital will attempt to separate 14-month-old conjoined twins who are being flown into Australia today from their home in Bhutan.
Nima and Dawa were born conjoined at the chest facing each other and doctors in Bhutan believe they share a liver.
Charity organisation Children First Foundation organised the flight after doctors said it would greatly boost the likelihood of a successful separation for the sisters.
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy said a large team of specialist doctors has been preparing for Nima and Dawa’s surgery for months.
“The Royal Children’s Hospital and indeed some of our wonderful, wonderful clinicians at Monash Children’s Hospital as well have been considering how best to support this very, very incredibly challenging case for some time,” she said.
“This has been an extraordinarily complex preparation process involving very important considerations and decisions being made about the possible opportunities that could be offered to the twins by our clinicians here in Melbourne.
“It’s a matter of incredible pride that our teams are going to be putting their hands up to work and give these beautiful little girls their best chance at having a full and dignified life.”
Ms Hennessy said she thought most Victorians would be touched by the case.
“To use your incredible clinical skills and your sense of compassion to step up to support this incredibly complicated case I think speaks not just to the ‘hero status’ that we should hold our clinical teams in, it also speaks to our very strong ethical compass around supporting all children,” she said.
Doctors at the hospital made international headlines when they separated conjoined Bangladeshi twins Trishna and Krishna almost a decade ago, who were conjoined at the head.
The twins are expected to arrive in Melbourne around midday.