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When A Prince Chose To Help Indian Couple

Mohammad Shakeel Ahmad and Rabia Khatoon's joy knew no bounds when they got the news that Abu Dhabi's crown prince had come forward to pay for the surgery to separate their conjoined twins.//

'It is a miracle a crown prince sitting thousands of miles away has offered to help us,' Khatoon, the mother of twins Farah and Sarah, cannot stop saying even as the children get medical attention at New Delhi's Apollo Hospital.

Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan offered to pay for the surgery to separate the girls who were born 10 years ago at a hospital here with their heads stuck together.

The 38-year-old Khatoon was a worried mother till she heard one day that doctors could indeed manage to separate them.

But the couple could only pray. Khatoon's husband Mohammad Shakeel Ahmad runs a small shop near the Patna railway station and they could hardly think of spending the money required for the surgery.

'It is a miracle that god has listened to our prayers ' the overjoyed mother told IANS at her modest home in Samanpura colony.

'We were always hopeful that one day a miracle would happen and someone would come to help my daughters.

'We are really grateful to the prince whose representatives came to our house and took the girls to (New) Delhi and got them admitted in the Apollo hospital.'

Khatoon, a mother of seven, had been nursing the conjoined twins ever since they were born, with all the love and affection they deserve.

'They were confined to their home as they attracted curious onlookers and taunts,' she said.

The twins have not had any education but were taught Urdu at home.

Elaborating on the problems faced by them, Khatoon said: 'When Sarah wants to play, Farha likes to sit. When one wants to sleep, the other wants to play. If one of them has to respond to nature's call at night, the other has to go with her.'

T he desperate parents had approached several politicians, including Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, pleading for money to separate the conjoined twins but in vain.

Now they have hope. Doctors in New Delhi say they are in touch with experts from the US and Singapore. But everyone has his fingers crossed.

--IANS
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