ANXIOUS wellwishers are waiting on news from the parents of conjoined twins due to undergo crucial separation surgery.
Six-month-old Northern Ireland “miracles” Annie and Issie Bateson were born joined from the chest to the pelvis.
The tots, from Toomebridge, Co Antrim, have separate hearts yet share a liver, bladder and bowel.
They have one leg each and one shared fused leg.
Mum and dad Hannah, 31, and Dan, 32, said the “big day” of surgery was due to take place at London’s world leading Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Hannah wrote on Facebook that she and her husband would “hold our girls as close as possible” ahead of the 18 hour operation.
She said: “We won’t be able to hold them for so long afterwards and we plan on making the most of every moment.
“We are going to go quiet on the ole socials between now and the surgery but we will try and get you all an update afterwards as soon as we can.
“I can’t tell you how completely overwhelmed we are by the love and support we have received. I would love to reply to each and every message but just know that we are so very grateful.”
She added: “Please can I ask that you continue pray for our girls and for us to have the strength to care for them in the days, weeks and months ahead.”
The couple had been advised while Hannah was pregnant that the girls were joined.
Speaking after the birth, she said she had “felt in limbo,” adding: “We knew so little about the information about the extent of the conjoin.”
She said that after the separation, the plan is for both girls to have one prosthetic leg each.
She told ITV: “Our ideal world? We’ll be coming back here for the next 18 years – which is a very scary thing to say but if we’re coming back for the next 18 years, it means the girls survived.”
Both parents have said the girls have been determined and proved everyone wrong so far.
“Long may it continue,” Hannah added.
A fundraiser to help the family with costs around the issues they face was set up with an initial target of £5,000.
However on Tuesday the total had topped £21,000.
One wellwisher said: “Best wishes for your beautiful babies may their surgery be a success and they return home soon.”
Source: The Sun