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November 18, 2009


An aid worker who helped bring formerly conjoined Bangladeshi twins to Australia where doctors managed to separate them spoke of her relief after the successful surgery, as the girls remained in serious but stable condition.

Danielle Noble, who first met Trishna and Krishna in an orphanage in Bangladesh in 2007 when they were only a month old, said she cried Tuesday after learning from a televised news report that surgeons had successfully separated the girls, who were born joined at the head.


“I watched as the doctor came out and said they had been separated — it was quite surreal, unbelievable,” Noble said. Trishna and Krishna, who turn 3 next month, shared a section of skull, blood vessels and brain tissue. They were separated Tuesday after 25 hours of delicate surgery and reconstruction by a team of 16 surgeons and nurses.

It is too early to know whether the girls suffered any brain damage during the marathon operation — an outcome doctors said was a 50-50 chance. The girls will remain in an induced coma for monitoring for several days. Leo Donnan, chief of surgery at Royal Children's Hospital, said the girls are in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit.

Andrew Greensmith, a plastic and maxillofacial surgeon from New Zealand, called the surgery painstaking and remarkable. Greensmith was holding the girls' heads at the final moment of separation, when the beds were pushed apart millimeter by millimeter. “It was quite bizarre to see them apart for a change ... quite surreal,” Greensmith told New Zealand radio network NewstalkZB.