Riddhi and Siddhi, the conjoined twins who were separated in 2014, turned four on Tuesday (May 9). All the staff members, along with paediatric patients and their family, at Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital celebrated the twin sisters’ birthday in the hospital premises.
Born to a couple from Panvel on May 6, 2013, and are conjoined at 180 degrees, making it impossible for them to walk.
Riddhi and Siddhi fall under the Ischiopagus conjoined twinning, which is a rare occurrence, representing only 6% of all conjoined twins.
According to hospital sources, their parents never inquired or came to meet them. Consequently, ward No21 of BJ Wadia Hospital has become their permanent address.
Riddhi and Siddhi go to Pratham School’s playgroup in Parel and can recite a few nursery rhymes and can identify numbers.
As part of their daily routine, Riddhi and Siddhi are also given physiotherapy session.
“Riddhi and Siddhi are healthy, but they need 2-3 corrective internal surgeries. We are ready to bear all the expenses till they are fit. When they were brought to the hospital, they shared a common uterus and urinary bladder, which the surgeons deftly cut into halves. Our team of 20 doctors, including paediatric surgeons, neonatologists, plastic surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and anaesthesiologists have been involved in the process,” said Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO at Wadia Hospital.
The hospital’s nursing staff is taking utmost care of them. According to the hospital administration, they are the longest staying patients and will stay there until complete rehabilitation. The hospital nurses visit them to inquire about their health. The hospital is going to take care of them as long as possible.
“We have a different bonding with little girls. They have become an important part of our life now,” said one of staff members.
Shobha Gaikar, a 65-year-old who is taking care of them as her own girls since last three years, said, “I live with them 24×7. After their mother could not come to meet them because of her pregnancy, I started doing their chores. I bathe them, feed them, take them for physiotherapy and take them to play outside in the hospital garden.”
The twins have already undergone three surgeries, the first in 2014 to create a separate outlet for urine and excreta (called colostomy), the second surgery on Riddhi was done to reconstruct the deformity in her pelvis in the same year and in 2016, a third surgery took place to correct the bends in their legs.
Sharing more details about girls, Gaikar said, “Siddhi is more playful, while Riddhi is usually calm. Siddhi, however, is wary of strangers and does not like to be carried by anyone in their arms.”