Dawa (left) Nima (right)

Former conjoined twins five-year-old, Nima and Dawa growing up healthily but have questions

The country’s first conjoined twins, Nima Jamyang Pelden and Dawa Jamyang Pelden, are five years and two months old now. They are keeping in good health and spirits. 

Bumchu Zangmo, the mother of twins, said both the twins are healthy and playful like any other kid. Presently they attend a kindergarten in Phuentsholing.

The mother said watching her twins go to kindergarten makes her happy, and she often thinks about how blessed they are to be living a normal life.

She said the twins are growing conscious about their looks. They often ask her why they don’t look like the other kids in the kindergarten. They ask why their head and ear shapes are different from the other children.

“I tell them that you have different size and shape of ears and flat heads because you are beautiful,” said Bumchu.

“When they say such things, it makes me cry and saddens me,” added Bumchu.

The two little girls are aware about themselves being conjoined twins. Bumchu shared that Nima and Dawa have been watching about themselves in YouTube and about the journey they had four years ago and how they were operated on.

They also know about the Children First Foundation, a non-profit organization in Melbourne, Australia, and they often ask their mother if the foundation can help to reshape their ears like the other kids, said Bumchu.

The Children First Foundation is also sponsoring Nima and Dawa’s fees for kindergarten as Bumchu said the twins were so eager to go to school, but she could not afford to send them to a good kindergarten.

The Children First Foundation and Dr Karma Sherub, a pediatric surgeon, in JDWNRH often ask about the twins’ health, she said.

She said Dawa seems a little smarter and mature than Nima who falls sick quite often and is weak. Bumchu is constantly worried about the twins’ health and wellbeing, as they were born conjoined.

She said that Nima and Dawa could have a healthy life only because of the Children First Foundation and doctors and nurses in Australia, and if something happens to Nima and Dawa, she doesn’t think she will be able to face the people and well-wishers who transformed the twins’ life. So, that is why she aways careful when it comes the twins.

Bumchu also said most people find the twins hard to differentiate as they wear the same clothes, but not her, as she can notice all the distinctions in them. 

The conjoined twins, Nima and Dawa, were born on 14 July 2017 in Phuentsholing General Hospital. The identical twins were joined at the thorax and the abdomen region. They were successfully separated on 9 November 2018 at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

The Children First Foundation financed their travel and the entire cost for the surgery estimated at around AUD 250,000. The surgery to separate the conjoined twins took six hours and was carried out by four surgeons and a team of about 18 medical assistants.

The shared liver was divided in the middle and put back in place. Plastic surgeons helped in the abdominal wall reconstruction. Dawa needed a prosthetic patch to cover her lower chest defect.

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