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Nigerian conjoined twins Mercy and Goodness Ede have been successfully separated in a surgery that took 13 hours by a 78-member team in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja .

The two were joined in the chest and abdomen.

Mercy and Goodness Ede. PHOTO | CNNMercy and Goodness Ede. PHOTO | CNN

Pediatric surgeon Emmanuel Ameh led the team that performed the operation in November last year.

Part of the team that operated on the Nigerian conjoined twins. PHOTO | CNN
Part of the team that operated on the Nigerian conjoined twins. PHOTO | CNN

“We are just happy and proud that the team that worked on this surgery were all Nigerians. It was done in Nigeria and the parents didn’t have to go outside the country,” Haastrup said.

Haastrup said the surgery, which runs into thousands of dollars, was done free of charge to the parents, who work in menial jobs and would not have been able to afford the surgery.

The twins were born on August 13 last year but Ameh said the surgery was delayed until November because of some complications.

Aside from being joined at the chest, the Martins twins were born with a condition known as omphalocele.(An omphalocele is a birth defect in which an infant’s intestine or other abdominal organs are outside of the body because of a hole in the belly button (navel) area. The intestines are covered only by a thin layer of tissue and can be easily seen.)