Against all odds a pair of conjoined twins in the Congo were born naturally. Then they survived an epic 1,400 kms round trip to be separated! Anick and Destin, two baby girls who were born naturally at 37 weeks in the remote village of Muzombo, western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The family then travelled for 15 hours through the jungle on the back of a motorcycle, the twins wrapped in a blanket, to get to Vanga Evangelical Hospital, where they came under the care of Dr. Junior Mudji. Their village is so remote hospital staff hadn’t even heard of it!
Without the equipment or expertise to carry out the complex separation surgery in Vanga’s small hospital, Dr. Mudji contacted a team of volunteer surgeons in the country’s capital, Kinshasa, who perform operations on children born with deformities.
Concerned that the fragile newborns would not survive another long and difficult journey, Dr. Mudji’s team then contacted Mission Aviation Fellowship. MAF regularly delivers medical equipment and personnel to the hospital in Vanga, using small aircraft designed to land and take off in the very remote and challenging terrain. Dr. Mudji was delighted to learn that MAF could provide an emergency flight for the family.
The 1.5-hour journey to Kinshasa aboard the airplane saved the family more than 14 hours on treacherous roads. When they arrived in the capital, a medic collected the patients from the aircraft and rushed them to a Kinshasa clinic where a successful separation surgery was performed by the team of volunteer surgeons.
Almost one month later, MAF Pilot Nick Frey flew the family back to Vanga, and the twins and mother were re-admitted to Vanga Hospital. The family were monitored for several weeks before facing the gruelling overland journey back to their remote village.