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Twins sticking together

Medical staff say that conjoined twins from Bhutan who were separated at an Australian hospital last week have been healing well, showing their cheeky side, and have become impossible to keep apart.

Joe Crameri, the head of pediatric surgery at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, told reporters Thursday there have been a few bumps along the road but that the 15-month-old girls, Nima and Dawa, are making good progress.

The girls were joined from the lower chest to just above the pelvis and shared a liver. They were separated during a delicate operation that lasted almost six hours. A major challenge had been to reconstruct their abdomens.

Crameri said the areas they'd tampered with during the surgery appeared to be healing well.

"The girls are getting back to a more normal life, so they're back to eating and they're starting to move around," he told reporters. "The area that we've repaired on their tummy wall seems to be holding up with the strain quite nicely. So, we're very happy, and especially Mum is very happy."

Kellie Smith, the hospital's nurse co-ordinator, said the twins have a close bond.

"We try and have them a little bit apart, but they manage to sort of bum shuffle back together and have their legs intertwined, always," she said. "So, we did initially try and have them in two beds but they didn't like that at all so they're in the one bed together and just happy, playing with one another, and it's actually beautiful to see."

Smith told reporters the girls are cheeky.

"They're happy, clapping, laughing, smiling at us all and, at times, telling us to go away when they've had enough," she said.



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