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Conjoined twins get relief for surgery abroad

By John Akubo, Lokoja
10 June 2016   |   4:00 am
It was a dream come true for parents of ‎six months old female conjoined twins, Miracle and Testimony Ayeni, who are joined at the buttocks,‎ when a non-governmental organization ...
Mrs. Arike and Mrs. Ayeni with the conjoined twins

Mrs. Arike and Mrs. Ayeni with the conjoined twins

It was a dream come true for parents of ‎six months old female conjoined twins, Miracle and Testimony Ayeni, who are joined at the buttocks,‎ when a non-governmental organization, Linking Hands Foundation, drew the attention of Kogi State to their plight.

The helpless parents could not believe their predicament could be taken care of in one fell swoop, as help began to knock on their doors from unexpected places.

With the downturn in the economy, it was like a nightmare for the Ayenis how they would be able to foot the medical bills until the NGO became the catalyst that was needed to open the doors of blessings for them. Though resident in Enugu State, the NGO thought it wise to contact the state government of the Ayenis’ state of origin and it paid off.

Being one of the promises of Governor Yahaya Bello at his inauguration to ensure citizens in diasporas and the state feel the impact of his administration, he immediately approved the donation of N3 million to parents of the co-joined twins to assist them for the operation of the babies, which is to be conducted at a hospital in America this month.

Secretary to the state government, Mrs. Ayoade Folashade Arike, who disclosed this yesterday, noted that their attention were recently drawn to the predicament of the parents whom she said hailed from Odoere in Yagba West Local Council of the state.

“We recently received a call from Linking Hands Foundation that there are these conjoined twins in Enugu and that they needed government’s assistance because the twins need to be separated and the parents don’t have the means. I told her to send me the brief about the children and she forwarded their medical reports to me and I made a case for them before Governor Yahaya Bello and his wife, Mrs. Rashida Bello that the twins needed surgery abroad.

“I told the NGO representative, Mrs. Efe Farinre, to send me the financial implications for the surgery abroad and we discovered that it was enormous. The NGO took a step further by contacting a particular hospital in the US if they could perform the surgery on charity grounds. She disclosed that the hospital graciously agreed to do the surgery free of charge.

“We were now looking at how they would go abroad and where to stay; we went back to the First Lady to see how we could be of help. She made an application to that effect and Governor Bello in his compassionate nature approved the donation of N3 million for traveling expenses and upkeep of the twins.”

According to her, an account has been opened in the names of the conjoined twins where the donation would be paid to. She informed that the same US hospital has offered to provide free accommodation to the parents for the period the surgery would last, adding that Arik Airline had equally obliged to transport the conjoined twins and their parents to America free.