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Jannat's having a third op ..I want you all to pray - DAD LUTHER YESTERDAY; EXCLUSIVE: SIAMESE TWIN'S SCARE.

Byline: STEPHEN WHITE

THE dad of separated Siamese twins asked for everyone to pray for his daughter Jannat last night as she recovers from her third operation.

Jannat needed the extra surgery after contracting an infection following earlier surgery to mend a hole in her heart.

And last night doctors told parents Nipa and Luther Rahman that she was making an excellent recovery from her latest trauma.

Luther said: "I want everyone to pray for Jannat. This is her third operation and she is just eight weeks old. But doctors are confident she will pull through."

The touching story of Jannat and her sister Zainab's birth - and the surgery to separate them - was revealed exclusively in yesterday's Sunday Mirror.

Relieved mum Nipa, 21, said she wept with relief when doctors said the heart surgery was a success.

She said: "Yet again one of my babies was going off to surgery. During Jannat's operation we sat with Zainab, hoping and praying.

"I spoke to her and told her that her little sister was going to be all right. When I heard the surgery had been a success, I cried with relief."

Doctors say the twins may be able to go back to their home in East London in as little as two weeks.

Proud dad Luther, 26, said: "Hopefully everything went all right - I am the luckiest man alive.

"The moment they were born I didn't care that they were joined.

"I ran out of the operating theatre after their birth, shouting, 'I'm a daddy! I'm a daddy!'"

The conjoined twins - who shared the same liver - were born on December 1 at Homerton Hospital, East London. Prof Lewis Spitz and surgeon Edward Keily led 20 experts for the four-and-a-half hour surgery to separate them at Great Ormond Street Hospital, on January 15.

Mum Nipa said: "Seeing them apart looked so odd. It was an absolute miracle. Suddenly we had two very individual little girls."

After their surgery the twins pined for each other, so a mirror was put by Jannat's cot, letting them see each other. Now Zainab weighs a healthy 7lb, and Jannat 6lb 5 oz.

Nipa - the youngest Briton to have given birth to conjoined twins - said: "I can't wait to get back home.

"I want to be able to put them in their own beds, and for the rest of our family to get to know them."

Luther and Nipa had been married for four years before deciding to start a family. Account executive Luther said: "We both love children and knew we were right for each other."

They found out the children were joined after Nipa's 12-week scan.

She said: "We were terrified, but after their birth the girls would kiss each other all the time. It was the most wonderful sight. Part of me never wanted to separate them."

CAPTION(S):

FIGHTERS: Jannat and Zainab in hospital. Inset: Proud parents; EXCLUSIVE: Sunday Mirror story
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 27, 2003
Words:488
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