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Prognosis of Bangladeshi twins good: doctors -

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Prognosis of Bangladeshi twins good: doctors

Rachael Brown reported this story on Thursday, November 19, 2009 12:21:00

ELEANOR HALL: The Melbourne surgeons who separated the Bangladeshi twins Trishna and Krishna are
reporting that one of the girls woke this morning and that both of them have pulled through the
marathon 32-hour operation amazingly well.

The twins' guardian was overjoyed to see her young charges in separate cots and is urging other
hospitals to get behind similar aid missions.

In Melbourne, Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: When neurosurgeon Wirginia Maixner clocked off Tuesday afternoon she'd been on her
feet 36 hours, leading her team in the meticulously delicate task of separating the brain tissue
and bone joining Trishna and Krishna.

She says the trick was staying focused.

WIRGINIA MAIXNER: You need to take appropriate breaks throughout the case, enough to have something
to eat and drink, bathroom breaks. But also just to stop and regroup and rethink.

We both hit a wall very early hours of Tuesday morning. I was at four in the morning, Alison was at
five. And then we got a second wind at six and we were right to go then after that.

We played music at one point. That was really helpful. That was very uplifting. I think I sang a
little bit some time in the procedure. (Laughs)

RACHAEL BROWN: She can't remember the song, it's all a bit of a blur, but she'll never forget the
sight of the two girls this morning.

WIRGINIA MAIXNER: They look really good. Trishna is awake and looks fantastic. She's cuddling up
into Moira's arms and has been there for the last few hours. She looks pretty much normal.

Krishna we've deliberately not woken up just yet because she still has a few issues. She's the one
that had most of the readjustment needs and so we wanted to give her brain a little bit longer to
settle before we started waking her up. But we plan start to waking her today.

RACHAEL BROWN: Ms Maixner says Krishna's circulation is a little slower than her sister's but early
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans suggest neither girl's brain function has been affected.

Soon the focus will move to tasks most three-year-olds have already mastered.

WIRGINIA MAIXNER: We've taken them through one of the biggest hurdles in their lives they'll ever
face. I think however there still is a long way to go for the girls. You know these are
three-year-olds who've never walked for example and they have to learn that ability. They haven't
held their heads in a right position. They've never been properly upright.

There's lots of things these girls have to re-learn. But I expect they've now got the best
opportunity to achieve a normal life.

RACHAEL BROWN: Moira Kelly and her charity Children First brought the twins to Australia from an
orphanage in Bangladesh two years ago.

She's still taking in the progress of the girls who were only given a 25 per cent chance of
survival.

MOIRA KELLY: When they called me and they told me, they rang me, they were separate. You know I was
still worried. Like all of a sudden because you know everyone thinks separation successful. You've
got to wait. You know it's not just over.

And then they told me little Trishy was back and they called me and I said, "No, no, no. I can't go
in." I said, "Please, I need the two of them there. I need to see the two of them."

And then you wouldn't believe it but they were in two cots and I stay in the middle. I'm in the
middle of these girls; that I've never done before. And it's just amazing.

RACHAEL BROWN: The hospital will be giving an update on the twins' condition this afternoon.

While doctors wait on further scans to show up any problems, Ms Kelly has her own special gauge.

MOIRA KELLY: My little Krishna, this is what she does to me all the time - she gives me a
raspberry. That's my MRI because then I know she's sound. So I go (makes a raspberry sound) and she
does that and then I know, it's like she's telling me: Moira I'm okay. I'm looking after Trishna
and I'm okay. The raspberry and I know she's neurologically sound.

So you know what lads, I just want my raspberry. When I get my raspberry in the next few days I'll
be happy, you know.

RACHAEL BROWN: Ms Kelly says the mammoth effort to save the twins captured the world's attention
and should be repeated.

MOIRA KELLY: What better money could be set in the world when you can save a life for a child and
also create such goodness? So you know as Australians we should be very proud that we've done such
a thing and this is what this life is all about and certainly how money should be spent.

I just hope Australia and every hospital in Australia, that their governments get together and they
provide even, not my children but two free beds for children in Australia, they should do for
overseas because maybe as a developed country like this, maybe that's something we should do.

So it makes me more realise if such good will can come from this goodness I think every state in
Australia should maybe just donate two beds a year to a child from overseas because you know, we've
got everything.

And look what we've done here. We're beneficiaries and so are these children of all the goodness
and kindness and most importantly this absolute biggest miracle in the world.

RACHAEL BROWN: Neurosurgeon Wirginia Maixner says at the hospital at least everyone has adopted the
girls in their hearts, and they're as much Australia's children as anyone's.

WIRGINIA MAIXNER: You know we've human beings and I think any human being faced with sick children
would do their utmost to help them. And I think that's what we're seeing in Melbourne. I think when
you look at the community spirit that's come behind these girls; when you look at the people in the
hospital that's come behind these girls; the companies that have helped us, that have given us
support in various different ways - I think you just can't underestimate human compassion.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Wirginia Maixner, the director of neurosurgery at Melbourne's Royal Children's
Hospital ending that report by Rachael Brown.