A world-renowned Indian-origin pediatric neurosurgeon in the UK has helped a group of Israeli doctors to successfully operate on a pair of twins conjoined at the head, with the babies now likely to lead normal lives, reported a media here.
According to a report in The Times of Israel (TOI), this is for the first time that Dr. Noor Ul Owase Jeelani, who was born in Kashmir and works at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, agreed to carry out a surgery like this outside the UK when contacted by doctors at Israel’s Soroka hospital.
He and his colleague, Professor David Dunway, are globally seen as experts on cases like these. Jeelani said, “from a doctor’s point of view, we’re all one” which medicine transcends all divisions.
The report quoted him as saying that, “He said that the very fact that a Kashmir-born Muslim doctor scrubbed up alongside an Israeli team to assist a Jewish family was a reminder of the universal nature of drugs.”
“It was an incredible family that we helped,” Jeelani said, adding, as I’ve said all my life, all children are an equivalent , whatever colour or religion”.
“The distinctions are man-made. A child is a child. From a doctor’s point of view, we’re all one,” he emphasised. The doctor found the family’s delight at the success of the operation “deeply moving”.
“There was this very special moment when the oldsters were just over the moon. I have never in my life seen a person smile, cry, be happy, and be relieved at the same time. The mother simply couldn’t believe it, we had to tug up a chair to assist her to settle down ,” Jeelani told the news portal.
Jeelani is claimed to possess also worked for months on the surgery of the Israeli twins. “We’ve been involved right from the beginning , lecture the team in Israel and planning it with them over a period of six months,” he said.
“This latest surgery fulfills a key objective of our charity, namely, to empower local teams abroad to undertake this complex work, successfully utilising our experience, knowledge, and skills gained over the past 15 years with our previous four sets of twins,” the neurosurgeon stressed.
For the medical team at Israel’s Soroka hospital it also a major achievement that managed to conduct this complicated surgery despite of having never performed such a surgery. It involved complex on-the-spot decisions regarding which vessel to offer to which twin, and evaluating in real-time the impact that immediate decisions were having on the functioning of the brains, the report said.
Four other such surgeries were performed by Jeelani on twins who were adjoined at the top with fused skulls, intertwined brains, and shared blood vessels. His involvement with conjoined twins started in 2017 when a neurosurgeon from Peshawar, Pakistan, asked him to work on identical conjoined twins, Safa and Marwa, born three months earlier to a woman from rural northern Pakistan.
He raised the cash for the surgery from a Pakistani oil trader called Murtaza Lakhani and, with Dunaway, successfully performed the operation after many hours of preparation. Following the success, he went on to determine Gemini Untwined, a nonprofit organisation, to plan and perform such operations, the report said