Egyptian twins Mohamed, left, and Ahmed Ibrahim, right, sit face to face with their parents
NOTE: The dark thing on the side of Mohamed's head with tubing leading to it is another KCI product called V.A.C., which stands for Vacuum Assisted Closure. Basically it provides a vacuum at a wound site to draw away fluids into a charcoal filter which aids tremendously in the healing process.
Ahmed (left) and Mohamed Ibrahim
as they appear today. At 5 years of
age, the Egyptian twins no longer need to wear protective helmets. By the time they leave
NOTE: Check the bottom of this page for their latest status.
(AP) DALLAS, Oct. 27, 2003
The conditions of formerly conjoined Egyptian twins Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim were upgraded from serious to guarded as they continued to recover from surgery two weeks ago to separate them. The 2-year-old boys were born joined at the head. Dr. James Thomas, chief of critical care services at Children's Medical Center Dallas, said Sunday that both boys continue to improve. Both children were tolerating full formula feedings. Thomas said much of their days are spent with therapy and resting. The twins were separated in a 34-hour procedure that ended Oct. 12.
Mohamed is off all intravenous medications, the hospital said in a Web site update Sunday night. "Mohamed's therapy is going well and today he was able to throw toys with his left hand at various staff members when they got in range," Thomas said. He said Mohamed giggled and laughed when playing the games.
Ahmed could be taken off the IV medications Monday. The hospital said Ahmed is undergoing therapy workouts twice a day and is making good progress.
October 14, 2003
The conjoined Egyptian twins were successfully separated during a lengthy
surgical procedure. Our brother-in-Christ Jay Ulbrich literally custom-built
the bed that was used in the procedure. Jay works for KCI (Kinetic Concepts Inc.), a manufacturer of
specialized therapeutic equipment used to provide treatment for critically ill
The bed frame was custom designed for this procedure by several people on the KCI R&D design team working in conjunction with the medical personnel that would be performing the actual surgery. The bed went through many changes during this process, including several within the last few hours before the surgery began.
The bed was designed so that both boys could be rotated side-over-side 360 degrees during the surgery. The reason was so that the doctors would not have lay on the floor while working on the underside of the patients during this tedious surgery. Once the boys were separated the bed frame divided into two individual bed frames so that each patient could be attended to.
One of the doctors commented "The surgery would have taken much longer without the bed. "We wouldn't be having this conference today," neurosurgeon Dr. Kenneth Shapiro told reporters after the separation. "We'd still be working."
As one of Jay's fellow KCI co-workers I knew he was very good at what he does but this bed was truly a work of art. You might consider thanking Jay for his participation in this endeavor and give glory to God that He gave Jay the skills to construct this bed.
"Whatever you do, do your work
heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."
Colossians 3:23-24 (NAS)
"Let the favor of the Lord our God
be upon us;
and confirm for us the work of our hands;
yes, confirm the work of our hands."
There were videos available on the web that also showed the KCI bed.
The links are no longer valid.
November 8, 2005
Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim return to Egypt after nearly 3 ½ years in Dallas
Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim, the 4-year-old craniopagus twins who were successfully separated by Dallas surgeons during a risky 34-hour surgery in October 2003, are returning to their home in Egypt after nearly three and a half years in Dallas - much of that time as Medical City Children's patients. To celebrate this momentous event in their lives, the World Craniofacial Foundation threw the boys a farewell party Nov. 5 at the American Airlines C.R. Smith Aviation Museum in Fort Worth. American Airlines provided the museum and all costs associated with the party as a gift to the boys.
The twins and their parents, Ibrahim Gad and Sabah Abou Al Wafa, were surrounded by some 200 of their friends, including many of the medical staff that have participated in their care since the boys' arrived at Medical City Children's on June 22, 2002. Ahmed and Mohamed traveled a long and perilous journey to reach this point in their short lives.
The twins were born in the remote village of Qos, Egypt (about 500 miles south of Cairo). They were craniopagus twins, an extremely rare condition that happens in less than 2 percent of conjoined twins' births. They were immediately transferred to the University of Cairo Abu el-Reesh Hospital and placed under the care of Dr. Nassar Abdel Al, head of neonatal surgery. Dr. Nassar was given medical guardianship of the babies and they spent the first year of their lives as patients in the hospital under 24/7 medical care.
After craniofacial surgeon Dr. Kenneth Salyer accepted them as patients to evaluate whether they could be separated, the babies came to Dallas in June 2002, only days after their first birthday, accompanied by the two nurses and three doctors who had been caring for them at the children's hospital in Cairo. Their father joined them that fall as doctors continued to evaluate whether separation surgery could be performed.
Once the decision was made to separate the boys, they underwent a tissue expansion surgery in April 2003 that was critical to the success of the separation surgery. Their mother, Sabah, who had seen her sons only a few times since their birth, was able to join her babies and spend a few days with them prior to the separation surgery, which took place on Oct. 11-12, 2003.
Since the successful surgery, the boys have celebrated two more birthdays in the United States, undergone reconstructive surgery on their skulls, and spent countless hours in rehabilitation therapy. Today, both are walking and talking and excited to be returning home to their brother and sister in Egypt. Departure is scheduled for Nov. 19.
The day was particularly meaningful for Dr. Salyer, who not only was responsible for bringing the conjoined twins to the United States, but who also has been their lead physician throughout their surgeries and hospital stays. He said, "These boys came looking for a miracle, and they gave us much more. We'll never forget about these boys. They have a special place in our hearts . . . ."
Dr. Salyer is the founder of the World Craniofacial Foundation, which underwrote all of the non-medical expenses involved in the family's stay in Dallas. Medical City provided all of the medical care the boys received while patients at the hospital at no charge.
by JAMIE STENGLE, Associated Press Writer
DALLAS (AP) -- With bright smiles and energy to spare, once conjoined twins Mohamed and Ahmed Ibrahim are visiting Dallas four years after a marathon surgery to separate them. Now 6 years old, the twins born joined at the tops of their heads in Egypt arrived in Dallas on Tuesday from their home in Cairo.
The boys, who are walking on their own and speaking in both English and Arabic, were separated in Dallas in October 2003, about a year and a half after arriving here so doctors could determine whether separation was even possible. And after their 34-hour surgery, they stayed in Dallas for about two more years as their skulls were reconstructed. They returned to Egypt in November 2005.
"These boys to me represent the culmination of a very long journey, where they are arriving at what we all envisioned would be a possibility, but it turns out to be a reality," said Dr. Kenneth Salyer, chairman and founder of the nonprofit World Craniofacial Foundation, which brought the boys here for evaluation and has been directing their care. We're joyous. We're happy with them. They've been celebrating since they arrived back to their home away from home."
Salyer said that during the two weeks they'll be in the United States, the boys will be evaluated by doctors in Dallas and also travel to Arizona to get an MRI that should tell more about how their brains are functioning. "But just from looking at these boys, I'm very pleased with how they've done," Salyer said. "They've made tremendous progress."
He said the foundation has enrolled them in a Cairo school where they will have tutors and be able to continue learning English. The visit was not only a chance to see how the boys are doing, but to reconnect with old friends. While getting a form of therapy that uses light touch to enhance the function of the nervous system, therapist Sally Fryer tells a relaxed Mohamed: "You have the same sweet smile."
Later, the therapy session gets louder as the brothers take turns on a swing. The boys wrap their arms and legs around the swing as they fly through the air. Laughter ensues as one brother pulls on the rope to make the other soar higher.
Fryer said the swing, which develops balance and coordination, makes the boys use muscles that will help strengthen their trunk. "They think they're playing and having fun, but it takes a lot of strength to hold on to that," Fryer said. "They're miracle kids, they both have exceeded everyone's expectations."
The boys traveled to Dallas with their mother and 14-month-old brother while their father and two older siblings stayed in Cairo. While in Dallas, the boys and a set of twins born joined at the head in Italy were guests of honor at a fundraiser for the foundation, which helps children with deformities of the head or face.