OVER two months after conjoined twins Rose Carmel and Rose Carmelette were separated by a team of doctors in Taiwan, they are finally home.
The sisters, who will turn 10 months old today, are now able to crawl, look at each other and play with each other—things they were not able to do before since they were conjoined in the hips and shared one anus.
The identical twins, who were like celebrities in Taiwan, are daughters of Emily Molit, a public high school teacher in Catmon, Cebu and Salomeo Molit Jr., a machine operator in Maitland-Smith at the Mactan Economic Zone in Lapu-Lapu City.
“Nagpasalamat ko’g maayo sa Tzu Chi Foundation. Dili nako ma-explain akong gibati (I’m so grateful. I can’t express in words how thankful I am),” said Emily, 38, who has been in Taiwan since March after the foundation committed to sponsor the travel and medical expenses for the separation of the twins.
Salomeo couldn’t believe he was holding only one daughter yesterday since they were still conjoined when he last saw them.
“Lipay kayo ko nga na-separate sila. Grabe kaayo ug natabang ang Tzu Chi namo. Kuwang gyud mi sa financial (We are ecstatic that the girls have been separated. Tzu Chi has done a tremendous thing for us. We did not have the financial resources for this),” he said.
Tzu Chi is a non-profit organization based in Formosa. For over 40 years, it has done missions of charity, medicine education, international disaster relief, environmental conservation and community volunteerism.
Former Catmon mayor Estrella Aribal helped the Molit couple contact Tzu Chi Foundation, which has an office in Mandaue City.
The twins, who underwent their first operation last June 5, are now “good and very stable,” said Dr. Hai-Chyi Peng, head of the pediatric surgery division of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Hospital in Hualien.
“Maybe God helped them,” he said of the twins, who did not suffer any complications from the series of surgeries.
A team composed of pediatric surgeons, plastic surgeons and neurosurgeons, as well as other medical professionals, helped make the operations successful.
Planning the procedures done on the twins started in February this year, Peng said.
After they were separated, doctors created for each baby a rectum and an anus.
Reconstructive surgery was done to recreate their buttocks and portions of their upper thighs.
At first, doctors were worried about the bowel movement of the twins.
But Peng said both girls developed this bodily function normally after the surgery.
“It’s better than our expectations,” Peng told Sun.Star Cebu.
Both girls are still under observation, especially Rose Carmelette, who is suffering from scoliosis as a result of their condition.
With rehabilitation, Peng said Rose Carmelette will have a chance to walk normally.
Aside from Peng and the rest of the medical team, Tzu Chi volunteers, teachers and students from Tzu Chi Elementary School in Taiwan bid the twins and their mother goodbye last Wednesday.
Some of them donated money and clothes.
Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen also asked Tzu Chi volunteers in Cebu to ensure the medical needs and the health of the Molit twins will be taken care of.
Emily, who delivered the twins in Cebu City last Oct. 21, 2009, said she never expected, even in her dreams, to receive such an outpouring of love and compassion. (CYR)