Workitu had surgery last Wednesday – a little over a week ago now – to remove the extra legs, arms, and small trunk of her parasitic twin. She is doing well, and her recovery has been smooth. I can’t imagine how her surgery could have gone better – everything went as planned from start to finish. Prior to her surgery, many surgeons and radiologists met to discuss and plan her care for several days. How could her complicated anatomy be handled in order to give her the best and safest outcome? I believe it was all this careful planning, and God’s grace, that allowed her surgery to go so well. Although some surgeries of this type have taken over 20 hours to complete – hers took only six. Although we prepared a lot of blood to be available in advance, she didn’t need a single unit. Surgeons from the government hospital, from a private hospital, and from CURE worked together to bring about the best possible result for Workitu. It was obvious to me from the beginning that everyone kept her interests in the forefront. The surgery, from start to finish, was about a girl who wanted to have a normal life. Her problem had always been hidden by bulky dresses and skirts. Only the women in the family knew about Workitu’s extra limbs. Her mother brought her to numerous doctors as a baby, but none could help. She accepted Workitu’s condition as “her fate.” Now that she was seventeen, all the extra weight and bulk of carrying half of another person with her at all times was giving her pain. She had to quit school because of other children’s persecution. A few months ago, she told her older brother, who never knew there was anything different about his sister. He brought her to a basic medical clinic. Eventually they made their way to the government hospital, which asked CURE to get involved as well. We have all been astounded by Workitu’s strength. She has dealt with so much.
Now that Workitu’s surgery is over, she thanked all involved for “taking away my burden.” She plans to start back to school this fall. Her mother says it is like she has been “born again.”
Originally posted at: http://ethiopia.thebernards.org/2012/07/07/update-on-workitu-and-her-parasitic-twin/.