Twins' First Steps Make International Headlines

Once-conjoined sisters Nima and Dawa return to Bhutan after separation surgery in Australia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 7, 2019 9:25 AM CST
Once-Conjoined Twins Take First Steps on Their Own
Bhutanese twin sisters Nima and Dawa walk holding hands with their mother, right, older sister, center, and father at the Tachog Lhakhang temple on the outskirts of Thimphu, Bhutan, on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Karan Gurung)

Two formerly conjoined twin girls arrived home in Bhutan Thursday after being separated in an operation in Australia, sparking joy when their family saw them walking independently. Twenty-month-old Nima and Dawa returned to Bhutan after a 22-hour flight from Melbourne with their mother, four months after their operation, per the AP. The girls had been joined at the torso and shared a liver. They were separated by a team of 25 surgeons, nurses, and anesthetists in an operation in early November at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital that lasted almost six hours.

Barely controlling his emotions, their father, Sonam Tshering, said it was like a miracle. He took them from the airport to a monastery to light a lamp in prayer. The girls recovered after the operation at a retreat run by the Children First Foundation, the charity that brought them to Australia. "They're much the same as when they were together," said Debbie Pickering of the foundation. "We've got one that's very much more outgoing and one that's very placid." They are "beautiful little girls," she added, "delightful in every way."

(More conjoined twins stories.)

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