Two heads are better than one — so goes the popular saying.
But there are times when two heads are a big problem, such as with a new born baby delivered on Tuesday at a hospital in Ogudu on the outskirts of Lagos.
It has two heads with oxygen tube strapped on each, a neck, chest, two legs and two hands.
Doctors at Med-In Specialist Hospital, Osogbo Street, who took the delivery, said the baby was born around 6:30pm on Tuesday through an elective caesarean section. Its mother, surgeon and nurses entered the theatre prepared to take delivery of a set of twins as indicated by the various scans she underwent in the course of the pregnancy.
But what they saw were two heads sharing a body
At the hospital yesterday, it was gathered that the baby was resuscitated and transferred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for advance care.
According to one of the nurses who was in the delivery room, they had prepared two cots for each of the twins but were shocked when they saw that they were conjoined.
“This is the first time I am seeing anything like this. I have watched it in movies but seeing it in real life was such an experience for me. Thankfully, the surgeon ensured that they survived.
“As I speak to you, the mother doesn’t know the condition of the babies. She still believes and expects to carry her twins. We haven’t told her yet. Only her husband was brought into the theatre to see his children and he was the one who went with the doctors to LUTH,” said the nurse.
In medical parlance, the condition is known as Parapagus. It is a rare form of partial twinning where there are two heads and two necks side by side on one torso.
Such cases are rampant in India and doctors say they cannot be separated since they have only one pair of arms and one pair of legs and one heart. This disorder is different from conjoined twins as the baby has only one set of internal organs. The extremely rare case is thought to be brought on during the early stages of pregnancy as a result of genetic mutation.