Two for One.....Or How the Human Condition conquers all that Nature throws at it

May 18, 2010 1:29pm CST
Three stories from the News this last week prove the indominitable Human Spirit, First, the conjoined twins are back together again. Conjoined twins Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf were re-united for the first time since the mammoth opderation to separate them. The five-month old boys are recovering well following the 14-hour operation in GOSH on 7 April. They were moved out of intensive care this last weekend. Parents, Angie and Azzedine Benhaffaf, from E Cork, Ireland, were delighted with the move and progress to date. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ The miracles of modern medicine make the separation of twins almost common-place. So, we move next to the strange story of Angel Burtonwhose body has managed to produce fully functioning kidneys, thereby replacing her own atrophied ones. Apparently, these Duplex kidneys are found in 1% ofd the generasl population, but are rarely fully formed. She has stunned doctors by growing her own two new kidneys to replace the ones that had failed and left her seriously ill. Her condition had steadily worsened since birth. She went for surgery but surgeons at Sheffield Children's Hospital were astonished to discover the fully formed kidneys sitting on top of the old ones. The new ones appear to have taken over the work of the originals in time to prevent Angel suffering Kidney failure. Regular scanning of Angel had failed to pick up these extra organs. Angel, from Louth in Lincs, suffers from a rare condition known as Duplex Kidney, where the organs are fused together in the middle. In an even rarer occurence, both organs were duplex, giving her four kidneys and four ureters. Urine was leaking into and infecting her Kidneys, a condition known as bilateral reflux. It was during a valve operation to correct this that the extra kidneys were discovered. Angel is now 8 and heading foor full recovery. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ Then we move to the case of the 'Mermaid Girl', Siloh Pepin, who is the subject of a documentary tonight at 10pm on CH4. Her mother called her a 'tough little thing' when doctors considered that she would only live for few days after birth. Siloh died on Friday afternoon at Maine Medical Centre, aged 10, after a rapid decline in her health followerd by pneumonia. Siloh had 'Mermaid syndrome' - sirenomelia - and only one working kidney, no lower colon or genitalia. Her legs were fused from the waist down. Siloh's legs could not be separated as her cirulatory system there was too convoluted. She had received two kidney transplants - the last one in 2007. Rest in Peace Siloh Pepin. ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ And finally, the case of the banana split ! Two perfectly formed bananas have formed, lieing comfortably side by side in a single skin - see the image at the top of page 31 of today's [Tuesday] Daily Mirror. Found by World Cancer Centre research staff at their run in Hyde Park - this banana certainly has extra special ap-PEEL.
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