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.
"A Muslim doctor from London has spoken of his pride and joy at helping separate Jewish Israeli conjoined twins just over a week ago, saying it illustrates that from a doctor's point of view, we're all one", The Times of Israel reported.
The newspaper further reports, "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 such a surgery outside the UK when contacted by doctors at Israel's Soroka hospital."
Staff at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba successfully completed the operation on the twins conjoined at the head and said that the babies are now likely to grow up to live normal lives.
Medicine transcends all divisions
Quoting Dr. Noor Ul Owase Jeelani, the Israeli newspaper reported that after conducting surgery he said that it should serve as a reminder that medicine transcends all divisions.
Dr. Noor Ul Owase Jeelani, a pediatric neurosurgeon at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, has performed four other separation surgeries on twins who were conjoined at the head with fused skulls, intertwined brains, and shared blood vessels. He and his colleague, Professor David Dunaway, are seen as the world's experts on such cases.
"Jeelani directs a nonprofit, Gemini Untwined, to plan and perform such operations. When doctors at Soroka needed to prepare for the operation, they reached out to him. He agreed, for the first time, to operate outside the UK", the newspaper reported.
He said that the fact that a Kashmir-born Muslim doctor scrubbed up alongside an Israeli team to help a Jewish family was a reminder of the universal nature of medicine.
"It was a fantastic family that we helped," newspaper quoting Dr. Jeelani reports. "As as I've said all my life, all children are the same, whatever color or religion," he said. "The distinctions are man-made. A child is a child. From a doctor's point of view, we're all one." He found the family's delight at the success of the operation deeply moving.
Jeelani's involvement with conjoined twins starts in 2017
As per reports, Jeelani's involvement with conjoined twins started in 2017, when a neurosurgeon from Peshawar, Pakistan, asked him to operate on identical conjoined twins, Safa and Marwa, born three months earlier to a woman from rural northern Pakistan.
He raised the money from a Pakistani oil trader called Murtaza Lakhani and, with Dunaway, successfully operated, after hundreds of hours of preparation. He went on to establish Gemini Untwined, and perform more surgeries.
He worked for months on the Israeli surgery
Sharing detail of conducting surgery in Israel, he said, "We've been involved right from the start, talking to the team in Israel and planning it with them over six months".
"This latest surgery fulfills a key objective of our charity, namely, to empower local teams abroad to undertake this complex work, successfully utilizing our experience, knowledge, and skills gained over the past 15 years with our previous four sets of twins".
I spoke with @SkyNews this morning about last week's surgery - you can see a clip below. Thank you @KayBurley for helping to shine a light on our work here at @GUntwined https://t.co/qHcGoNK6ve— Noor Ul Owase Jeelani (@OwaseJ) September 8, 2021