SYDNEY: The Bangladeshi mother of conjoined twins, separated last year in Australia, has flown to visit her daughters for the first time since the complex surgery, her husband said Saturday.
Lovely Mallick, 23, and her jute mill worker husband Kartik Chandra Mallick, 30, gave up the twins Trishna and Krishna after their birth three years ago because there was no way the poor couple could care for the sickly newborns.
Last November, the twins hit headlines after they were separated by doctors in a marathon 32-hour operation in Australia to divide their connected skulls, brains and blood vessels and allow them to lead separate lives.
Lovely Mallick flew last week on a three-month visa to Australia to see her daughters for the first time since the operation, her husband said.
The children now are being looked after by their legal guardian Moira Kelly who heads the Melbourne-based charity Children First Foundation.
“My wife called me yesterday (Friday). She was overwhelmed with joy to see our daughters talking and walking for the first time,” her husband Kartik Mallick told AFP.
“I also talked to Trishna and Krishna. I don't know how I can express my gratitude,” he said.
Trishna and Krishna were brought to Melbourne in 2007 after they were discovered in the Dhaka orphanage by Australian aid workers who realised they faced certain death unless they received intensive medical care.
A Bangladeshi businessman funded Lovely Mallick's trip to Australia, her husband said, adding he felt saddened that money did not permit him to accompany his wife.
The girls were born in December 2006 and six weeks later the impoverished Mallicks placed them in the Dhaka orphanage.
Kartik Mallick said he did not know how long his wife would be away.
The girls have amazed doctors with their recovery from surgery. Although they were given only a 25 percent chance of both surviving the separation surgery without brain damage, the pair have a shown remarkable resilience.
Lovely Mallick has spoken of her delight that her children survived the risky operation, which was hailed as a miracle and a great medical success, but said she wanted them to stay in Australia for a better life.
She told AFP last year she wanted to talk with her daughters and to hold them in “my lap just for a moment”.
Mallick also said he wants the girls to have a better life in Australia.
“We want them to have a happy time and a great future in Australia. They are special girls and my wife told me they are being looked after like princesses,” he said. AGENCIES