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Cork reception for Irish conjoined twins

The family of separated twins Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf have been honoured with a civic reception in their home town.

The boys, dubbed the "little fighters", were carried into Cork City Hall by proud parents Angie and Azzedine, who spoke of their joy at having the two six-month-olds home, fit and well.

"The boys have made a miraculous recovery. In Dr Kiely's own words, it's been an unusually quick recovery," said their mother.

Lord Mayor Dara Murphy and the city council invited the family to the private reception to express solidarity and support from the people of Cork for the family.

Surgeon Edward Kiely, who led the mammoth 14-hour operation to separate the twins, and the doctor who delivered them, Dr Patrick O'Brien, also attended.

The babies were taken back to Cork last month after medics at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital gave the all-clear and, after several days in Cork University Hospital (CUH), the boys were allowed home.

Surgeons were taken aback by the speed of the boys' recovery, giving them the chance to go home six weeks after the complex operation.

They had been joined from the chest to the pelvis.

The boys' hearts were not joined, but all of their other major organs, including their liver, gut and bladder, were and had to be separated. They have one leg each.

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