Zainab and Jannat Rahman are “one in a million” – literally.
The British twins, who were conjoined in the womb, beat one in a million odds of surviving and recently celebrated their 16th birthday, The Siasat Daily reports.
Their parents Luther and Nipa Rahman call their daughters’ lives a “miracle.”
Nipa Rahman remembered the bad news that she received at her first ultrasound scan with the twins.
“In the scan they could see there were two heartbeats, which was good, but that they were not moving independently,” their mother said.
She said they learned that the twins were joined at the chest and liver. Doctors gave the girls a “one in a million” chance of surviving and suggested that Nipa have an abortion, according to the report. Parents of children with disabilities frequently report feeling pressured to have abortions – even for problems as minor as a cleft lip.
“We were horrified when we were advised to abort them. But we said, whatever they are, they are our children,” Luther Rahman said.
He added: ‘They said it was one in a million chance of survival for both of them. If they did survive, there was a chance that one of the children could lose a limb or end up with an illness. Luckily the organ they shared was the only one that regenerates, the liver.
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‘They were more worried for Jannat. They said it was a slim chance of her surviving as Zainab had been keeping her alive in the womb. Jannat had a hole in her heart.’
Once separated, Jannat went into intensive care for further surgery. During this time Zainab, feeling the absence of her sister at her side, became restless, refusing food and being unable to sleep.
‘Zainab was looking for her. She kept reaching out for her sister,’ said Mr Rahman. ‘We didn’t click what the problem was at first. But then one of the nurses had an idea and fetched a mirror. She put it in her cot and suddenly Zainab started looking at her reflection and smiling. She was content again.
‘Eventually we were able to walk home with both our children.’
The twins were separated when they were six weeks old at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, according to the report.
Sixteen years have passed since then, and the twins are doing well. The sisters are best friends and straight-A students.
Thinking back 16 years ago, their mother said: “Everything we went through before feels like a distant nightmare now. At that time I never dared imagine this day. But to look at them now is amazing. They have achieved so much already and against the worst odds imaginable.”
After high school, Zainab said she wants to become a doctor, and Jannat said she wants to be a lawyer. Their parents are just happy they are alive.
“I am the luckiest father in the world,” their father said. “When I see these two I feel that God gave me a gift. We are still cherishing it. Every day. They have made us both very proud.”