By Nathan Nwakamma
Amasoma (Bayelsa), Aug. 30, 2020 The Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) in Yenagoa and Yola, have settled the bill incurred for surgical operations to separate Siamese twins born to an indigent couple in Nembe, Bayelsa .
Dr Dennis Alagoa, the Chief Medical Director, FMC Yenagoa, said this when he received the babies, Grace Ayebaiyeni and Mercy Ayebaiyeni, born to Mr and Mrs Raphael Ayebaiyeni, on arrival at the Bayelsa International Airport on Sunday.
Alagoa said the surgery was performed at the FMC Yola along with FMC Yenagoa, adding that a team of pediatric surgeons and healthcare experts from the two medical institutions collaborated to achieve the feat.
He said that the Nigerian Air Force provided logistics for medical evacuation of the family 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 referred to FMC Yenagoa.
“They were cared for at the Special Baby Care Unit and the twins were joined at the stomach in the liver.
“We evaluated the situation and in the best interest of the babies ; we opted to collaborate with FMC Yola where a successful exercise had been conducted in 2018.
”Our surgeons and the lead surgeon from FMC Yola carried out the task.
“The surgery lasted about 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 available an aircraft and other logistics for medical evacuation of the babies alongside their parents and the medical team to and from Yola.
“The entire surgery which runs into several millions of naira was performed free of charge.
“We therefore appeal to the Bayelsa government to assist the family with job placement to guarantee the upkeep of the twins,” he said.
The twins who were looking good got a cash gift of N1million from Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrujakpo, who received them on arrival.
Naija247news reports that the medical feat was achieved by a joint team of pediatric surgeons from FMC Yenagoa and FMC Yola, where the twins were separated on Aug. 10.
Ewhrujakpo said the gesture was his personal contribution to the upkeep of the twins pending a formal reception for the them by Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa.
He said the conjoined twins, Grace Ayebaiyeni and Mercy Ayebaiyeni, born to Mr and Mrs Raphael Ayebaiyeni, were the first to be successfully separated through surgery in the South South zone.
The deputy governor applauded FMC Yenagoa and FMC Yola for the feat that led to the successful separating of the conjoined twins.
He also announced that he would take care of the upkeep and education of one of the twins, Mercy who shared the same name with his mother and wife, up to the University level.
Raphael Ayebaiyeni said he was happy with FMC Yenagoa and FMC Yola, for the humanitarian gesture and show of love to his family.
“I express my profound appreciation to everyone for the love and care and support to our babies and my wife throughout this experience,” he said.