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Last Updated: Friday, 17 October, 2003, 21:32 GMT 22:32 UK
Separated twins wake from coma
Father Ibrahim Mohammed Ibrahim plays with his twin sons
Father Ibrahim Mohammed Ibrahim with his sons before surgery
Egyptian conjoined twins who were separated during major surgery have regained consciousness and have movement in their limbs, say doctors.

Dr James Thomas, director of critical care at the Children's Medical Center in Dallas where two-year-old Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim were separated on Sunday said both boys were showing signs of recovery.

"Both now open their eyes when spoken to, and they appear to be searching out the voice calling their name," he said.

Mohamed, known as "the rascal" for his mischievous behaviour, has recovered from the 34-hour operation more quickly than his brother.

Waking moments

The boys had showed signs of fever and were restarted on a course of antibiotics. Infection can be life-threatening in the post-operative period.

MEDICAL HISTORY
Travis Vermilye modelling LLC/AP
Born by Caesarean section in Qus, Egypt, 2 June 2001
Arrive in Dallas in 2002
World Craniofacial Foundation funds their trip
Tissue expanders inserted under skin in April 2003 to prepare for reconstruction
34-hour operation carried out 11-12 October
Well-wishers flood hospital with messages

A team of five neurosurgeons separated their shared brain material and the shared circulatory systems that feed blood to their brains.

Mohamed is due to undergo surgery on Saturday as doctors examine a skin graft on his temple that was put in place to help repair the wounds from surgery.

Doctors say they will take the boys off mechanical ventilators that are aiding their breathing in the next few days.

The boys are currently lying in separate rooms on beds designed to rotate their bodies so that they do not develop bed sores.

In their waking moments, they try to focus on objects in their rooms.

The boys were born in a town 500 miles (800km) south of Cairo in 2001.

Twins conjoined at the head account for about one of every 2.5 million births and about 2% of all conjoined births.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Freya Michie
"Infection remains the greatest risk"



SEE ALSO:
One twin comes off coma drugs
16 Oct 03  |  Middle East
Ethics of separating twins
13 Oct 03  |  Health
In pictures: Run-up to op
11 Oct 03  |  Photo Gallery
Iranian twins die in surgery
08 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Separated twins 'open their eyes'
09 Aug 02  |  Americas
Conjoined twins
06 Jul 03  |  Medical notes


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