A pair of conjoined twins from Senegal is about to start full-time nursery in their new home of Cardiff, defying the expectation that they would only live a few days.
Doctors have been surprised by Mariame and Ndeye’s progress, discovering that the closely linked circulatory systems that make it impossible to separate them are also the reason they have continued to thrive, as both girls are mutually dependent on each other.
The twins’ father, Ibrahima Ndiaye, originally brought his daughters to the UK in the hope they would get a better life. While surgeons at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital considered separation as recently as January, scans showed that would be impossible due to a shared liver, bladder and digestive system – although they have separate hearts and spines.
The girls currently attend nursery for a few hours a week but will start going every week day from September. Meanwhile, Ibrahima is setting up a charity – Conjoined Destiny – to help other children with similar disabilities.