Bihar’s conjoined twins Saba and Farah Shakeel have turned 16, but excruciating pain — which is getting worse by the day — gives them little reason to term the celebrated ‘coming of age’ sweet.
The girls are unable to even walk now. The 15-odd hours they are awake every day are spent battling pain, before being numbed into an unconscious state by night.
About five years ago, experts had ruled that separating Saba and Farah would require five or six operations over nine months, but each stage held a one-in-five chance that either of the girls might die. The family had decided against taking the chance, even though the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, offered to pay for the surgery.
A team under Dr Benjamin Carson, a US specialist, had found that they shared a vital blood vessel in the brain, and that Farah had two kidneys, while Saba had none.
The girls, fans of Hindi film actor Salman Khan, want to live and enjoy life like others their age, but are reeling under terrible headaches and joint pains. The twins are also struggling with severe weight loss and high blood pressure.