The Federal Medical Centres Yenagoa and Yola have underwritten the cost of surgical procedure to separate a set of Siamese twins born to an indigent couple in Nembe, Bayelsa.
Dr Dennis Alagoa, Chief Medical Director of FMC Yenagoa said while receiving the babies on arrival at Bayelsa International Airport on Sunday that the surgery was done at FMC Yola.
He said that a team of pediatric surgeons and healthcare experts from the two medical institutions collaborated to achieve the feat while the Nigerian Air Force provided logistics for medical evacuation from Yenagoa to Yola.
“The babies were delivered through caesarian section on Dec. 12, 2019 at the General Hospital, Nembe here in Bayelsa and subsequently refered to us at the FMC Yenagoa.
“They were cared for at the Special Baby Care Unit and they were joined at the stomach in the liver.
“We evaluated the situation and in the best interest of the babies opted to collaborate with FMC Yola where a successful exercise was conducted in 2018 and our surgeons and the lead surgeonFMC Yola carried out the task.
“The surgery lasted for less than three hours and the recovery of the babies was fast and smooth, by the next day, they were already eating.
“We applaud the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar for his swift intervention by making the aircrafts and logistics for medical evacuation of the babies alongside their parents and medical team to and from Yola.
“The entire surgery which runs into several millions was done free of charge and two of us, the FMC Yenagoa and our counterparts FMC Yola in addition to the upkeep of the young couple who are unemployed.
“We therefore appeal to Bayelsa government to assist the family with job placement to guarantee the upkeep of the twins,” Alagoa said..
The twins who were looking very vibrant got a cash gift of N1 million from Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrujakpo who received them on arrival..
The medical feat was achieved by a joint team of pediatric surgeons from Federal Medical Center (FMC) Yenagoa and FMC Yola where the twins were separated on Aug 10, 2020.
Ewhrujakpo, who made the donation said the gesture was his personal contribution to the upkeep of the twins pending a formal reception of the twin by Gov Douye Diri of Bayelsa at a later date.
He said the twins Grace and Mercy Ayebaiyeni born to Mr and Mrs Raphael Ayebaiyeni are the first to be successfully separated through surgery in the South South zone.
The deputy governor who applauded the FMC Yenagoa and Yola also announced that he would take care of upkeep and education one of the twins Mercy who shares the same name with his mother and wife up to university level
Raphael Ayebaiyeni commended the FMC Yenagoa and Yola for the humanitarian gesture and show of love to his family.
“I express profound appreciation to everyone for the love and care and support to our babies and my wife through out this experience,” an elated Ayebaiye said.