Dr. Noor ul Owase Jeelani with the separated twins after the surgery (Twitter)
An Indian-origin Muslim doctor led a complex surgery to separate the Israeli Jewish twins fused together at the heads in an Israeli hospital sending a message of unity among humans.
After the surgery he spoke of his pride and joy at helping separate the twins; saying it shows that “from a doctor’s point of view, we’re all one.”
Dr. Noor ul Owase Jeelani, a pediatric neurosurgeon at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital performed this surgery at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, Israel. He led a team of Israeli surgeons to perform this complex surgery.
Jeelani’s family hails from Kashmir, J&K. The team declared the twins would be able to live like normal children.
Noor Ul Owase Jeelani announced the success of his operation on the Twitter:
According to an interview of Dr. Jeelani published in the Times of Israel, he said the successful surgery led by him should “serve as a reminder that medicine transcends all divisions.”
The surgery was complex to the level that the team had to make on-the-spot decisions on sharing blood vessels between the twins, and assessing in real-time the impact that immediate decisions would have on the functioning of the brains.
Jeelani had performed four such separation surgeries on twins who were conjoined at the head with fused skulls, intertwined brains, and shared blood vessels. He and his colleague, Professor David Dunaway, are seen as the world’s experts on such cases.
Jeelani heads Gemini Untwined, an NGO to plan and perform such operations.
It was the team from Soroka hospital that reached out to Dr. Jeelani for guiding them in this operation. It turned out to be his first-ever surgery outside the UK.
He spoke to Sky News about the surgery:
He told the Times of Israel, “It was a fantastic family that we helped; as I’ve said all my life, all children are the same, whatever color or religion. The distinctions are man-made. A child is a child. From a doctor’s point of view, we’re all one.”
Jeelani’s first such surgery was on identical conjoined twins, Safa and Marwa, from Pakistan in 2017. He also raised the money for this surgery since the family could hardly afford it.
This time Jeelani worked for months on the Israeli surgery. He said it took his team in the UK and the one in Israel six months to prepare for the surgery.
Jeelani added: “This latest surgery fulfills a key objective of our charity, namely, to empower local teams abroad to undertake this complex work, successfully utilizing our experience, knowledge, and skills gained over the past 15 years with our previous four sets of twins.”