The Padhar Missionary Hospital has been the centre of attraction of Betul district, about 175 kilometres away from Bhopal, for the last few days.
Hospital staff have been readying one ward in particular for two very special patients — 11-month-old conjoined twins Stuti and Ardhana.
The girls are joined at the heart and liver.
On Wednesday, after a 12-hour-long operation by a team of 12 to 14 doctors the twins were separated. Among the doctors were three specialists from Australia.
Earlier in the day, a prayer meeting had been organised in the hospital premises and once word got around that the operation had been successful, there was a wave of jubilation in the hospital that has been the home of the twins for the last many months.
“The operation has been performed successfully. Both babies are safe and they have been shifted to the intensive care unit for post-operative care,” said pediatrician Dr Ruma Alexandar, who was a part of the team.
The twins’ father, a poor farmer, had brought them to the hospital after they were born, but left them there once he realised that treatment would be a long and complicated process.
Ever since, the two girls have been looked after by hospital staff. Later, hospital authorities contacted experts and organised the operation and also arranged for funds.
“The operation went off smoothly but exact position can be determined in four to five days,” said Dr Manish Alexandar, another pediatrician.