Sunday, 24 January 2016

An Enugu-based couple, Segun and Mary Ayeni,
have shown great hope despite birthing a set of
conjoined twin girls.
Speaking with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, the
parents of the girls, Miracle and Testimony,
expressed optimism despite the condition of their
twin daughters born on November 16, 2015, who
are joined at the groin.
The father, Segun, 35, explained how, despite his
initial reaction of trauma, his faith gave him the
courage to pull through.
He said, “Naturally, you would be a little bit
traumatised. That is natural. But in everything,
when you know the word of God, it will strengthen
you more, because it is part of life. There is
nothing one can do about it. It has happened.
“When I first heard it was going to be twins, I was
happy. But later they said they were joined in some
way and I asked, ‘Conjoined how?’
“I thought it was the kind of thing whereby they
would be separated immediately. But I later
discovered that if they should try to operate
immediately, we would lose the two (girls).”
Interestingly, the children are very healthy.
According to their father, they are in perfect
condition.
Ayeni said, “It was after the birth that we knew for
certain that the babies were conjoined. When they
(the doctors) were talking about it, I didn’t
understand, not until the babies came out.
“They are not connected to anything (machine).
They eat normally; they poo (defecate) and wee
(urinate) normally because they have separate
genitals and legs.
“They are not sharing any vital organs, according
to the doctors. That is why they said their chances
of surviving are very high. They are okay, except
for the occasional fever, which is normal, and
within one or two days, it is gone.”
Like Segun, his wife, Mary, attributed the birth to
God and expressed an assurance that the twins
were born for a purpose.
The couple, who celebrated their third wedding
anniversary in December, had their first daughter,
Marvellous, on November 19, 2013.
According to the mother of three, Marvellous has
had a normal relationship with her siblings.
The day Mary took her firstborn along to the
hospital; she said Marvellous played with them like
any child would.
The mother said, “After the birth, I was told that
they were conjoined, but it was two weeks later
that I saw the children face-to-face. I delivered the
babies by caesarean section. While I was in the
hospital recuperating, the babies were transferred
to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital.
“It was a week after that I went there to see them
and I was happy because they are strong; it was
just that they are conjoined. Will I question God?
What will I do as their mother? God gave them to
me,” she told our correspondent.
The twins, who are still in the Intensive Care Unit
at UNTH, are visited by their mother every day.
Segun noted that though they went for five
ultrasounds, they were unprepared for the peculiar
birth. He added that the true nature of the
children’s condition was kept from him.
He said, “They were just telling us, ‘It seems they
are joined somewhere.’ They would not open up to
you because they don’t know the kind of heart you
have. You know that some people may not have
the heart to withstand such a thing. It may be a
strange thing to the person.
“Initially, they were even saying (they shared) one
leg. An ultrasound (scan) can only give you (a
view) of the full-fledged human form between six
to seven months (to the delivery). We did it again in
the sixth month.
Segun said tests were run on the twins regularly,
adding that an average of N25,000 to N35,000 was
spent for his children’s care weekly, while the fees
could be much more, depending on the tests.
“The doctors are constantly checking to see if any
of their vital organs are joined in any way. There’s
another one we are about to do now — MRS
(Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy) scan. Today,
we will still do a series of it. That one is (a total of)
about N80,000.
“I don’t keep track of all those costs because they
are my children; I don’t expect anyone to pay me
back. I really cannot recall the test I spent highest
for.
Mary told our correspondent that though the
nurses in the hospital are kind to her twins, she
has been stigmatised by some hospital staff and
neighbours.
“Because of illiteracy or not being exposed, some
think that whenever anything (strange) happens, it
is somebody that is behind it.
“Some female workers that clean the hospital
asked, ‘Why are you disturbing yourself?’ They told
me to leave the kids and run away. But I can never
leave them and run away because they are my
blood.”
“The neighbours living in my compound are fine;
they understand because they are learned. But on
the streets, some people that heard I had conjoined
twins stopped greeting me. Some wouldn’t even
talk to me; some that used to come and collect
things from me before now talk about me in jest.
They laugh. But God will take all the glory.”
Mary further expressed apprehension about the
urgency of the situation of the children.
According to her, she has been trying to reach out
to a woman, who had conjoined twins in 2007.
“I am looking for how to get in touch with the
woman so I can find out a lot of things. I don’t
understand what the doctors are doing. I am
worried that they may be experimenting with my
kids,” she said.
Source: Punch

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