Conjoined twin boys who were attached at the abdomen have been separated after an Instagram post went viral.
The babies, who have not been named, were born in June in Abuja, Nigeria.
Their father Ferdinand Buzugbe, 36, lost his job as an estate valuer shortly before his wife Courage, 31, gave birth to a stillborn last year.
After quickly becoming pregnant again, the couple discovered they were expecting twins during her eight-month scan but only learned they were conjoined when the babies were delivered.
The devastated parents were told the twins would be strong enough to undergo separation surgery in a few months but at a cost of around £1,680.
While they waited, the family’s landlord kicked them out, forcing the parents to sleep on the streets while charities took the twins in.
Once the youngsters turned four months old, their surgeon posted a picture of them on social media, which raised the money in just 10 minutes.
The several hour-long operation was carried out on Monday. The twins are said to be doing well.
Conjoined twin boys, who have not been named, were born attached at the abdomen in June. Their parents only discovered they were having twins at the eight-month scan and learned they were conjoined at the delivery. Father Ferdinand Buzugbe lost his job shortly before
At four months old, the twins were strong enough to undergo separation surgery. Their parents, who were kicked out by their landlord and sleeping on the streets, could not afford the operation. But a viral Instagram post raised the required £1,680 in just 10 minutes
After discovering his wife was pregnant again, Mr Buzugbe scrapped together N20,000 (around £42) from friends and relatives to pay for her care during childbirth.
But Mrs Buzugbe’s waters broke early, with her enduring a long labour before delivering the twins via C-section.
‘The birth was a rollercoaster for us because the initial joy we felt in our hearts turned to sorrow after we saw them co-joined at the abdomen’, Mr Buzugbe said.
Mrs Buzugbe managed to stay more composed than her husband, who claims he even lost consciousness from crying.
‘I was almost losing my mind. I thought to myself “no job, house rent expired, mounting medical bills and now these twins. How would they survive co-joined?”, Mr Buzugbe said.
But for Mrs Buzugbe, it was a relief to just hear the twins crying after her first child was delivered stillborn.
‘When I was told they cried, I was consoled,’ she told Vanguard.
Doctors also reassured the couple the twins would be eligible for surgery when they were older.
The medics also connected the family to the charities the Aisha Children Foundation and the Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC), who cared for the babies while their parents slept rough.
After four months, lead surgeon Dr Nuhu Kwajafa, of the GIPLC, put out an Instagram post asking strangers to donate N800,000 (around £1,688).
Minutes later, he sent Mr and Mrs Buzugbe a message saying ‘consider it done’.
The operation was carried at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital.
A senior manager of the hospital, who declined to be named, confirmed the surgery was a success and the twins are in intensive care.
Mr Buzugbe and Courage Buzugbe were devastated to discover their twins were conjoined, with Mr Buzugbe even claiming to have collapsed after he could not stop crying. For Mr Buzugbe, however, it was just a relief to hear them crying after previously having a stillborn
The twins, pictured before the surgery, were taken in by two charities who cared for them
WHAT ARE CONJOINED TWINS?
Conjoined twins occur when siblings have their skin or internal organs fused together.
It affects around one in 200,000 live births.
Conjoined twins are caused by a fertilised egg beginning to split into two embryos a few weeks after conception, but the process stops before it is complete.
The most common type is twins joined at the chest or abdomen.
Separation surgery success depends on where the twins are joined.
Doctors can only tell which organs the siblings share, and therefore plan surgery, after they are born.
At least one twin survives 75 per cent of the time.
The most famous pair of conjoined twins was Chang and Eng Bunker, who were born in 1811 and travelled with PT Barnum’s circus. They were born in Siam and were known as the Siamese twins.
Source: University of Maryland Medical Center