We thank you for your help since 2019. Please support the last phase of our project "Operation Freedom" (Rehabilitation) this year too.
Please see the documentary here: https://cselekves.org/en/latest-announcement-the-head-conjoined-twins-from-bangladesh-returned-home-from-hospital-after-two-years/
Please help Rabeya and Rukaya, from Bangladesh, to be one of the very few craniopagus twin pairs who can live a free, independent, and healthy life! Please help us, three surgeons. and our little team to make history with their groundbreaking separation surgery series called "Operation Freedom"!
Action for Defenceless People Foundation was founded in 2002 by Dr. Greg Pataki, Hungarian plastic surgeon and burn specialist, and Dr. Andras Csokay, Hungarian neurosurgeon. Its activities include helping those who can do little or nothing to protect themselves because of their economic position or state of health.
To achieve this goal, our Foundation performs free surgery in Hungary and abroad, mostly in developing countries, coordinates professional education and consultation in health-related institutions, and helps to acquire medical equipment and special hospital instruments.
Our biggest challenge now is to continue "Operation Freedom": the rehabilitation of Rabeya and Rukaya, the 4-year-old formerly conjoined twins from Bangladesh, after the complicated skull separation surgery project which has been a cooperation project of Hungarian and Bangladeshi surgeons.
Dr. Pataki and Dr. Csokay with the twins
In 2018, the team of our Foundation successfully performed the first phase of the long line of surgeries, the separation of the vascular system of the twins’ conjoined brains, which is also the most difficult because even in the most advanced clinics it has a 60-80% mortality rate. This crucial "first step" caused the high death rates for the past 100 years in such cases.
We used an innovative endovascular method, which means approaching the brain from inside the veins. In 2018, we managed to separate the conjoined large blood vessels of the twins’ brains. The successful 14-hour intervention was directed by Dr. Istvan Hudak, one of the world’s most respected professionals in this field, in Bangladesh.
In January 2019, the 2-year-old Rabeya and Rukaya arrived in Hungary for diagnostic and preparatory examinations necessary for the final skull separation operation and a special plastic surgery which involves the implantation of tissue expanders led by Dr. Greg Pataki with the help of Dr. Hossain Imam, assistant professor of Dhaka Medical College. The second phase of Operation Freedom consisted of this surgery, then the more than 40 smaller plastic surgery interventions that have taken place 1-2 times a week to fill the expanders, change the bandages, and perform laser and regenerative wound treatment.
It was needed to cover the extensive wound resulting from the final separation with the twins’ own tissues. The team managed to increase the volume of the tissue expander implants in Budapest to such an extent that is unprecedented both in Hungary in abroad because it seemed unavailable to such small children before.
Rabeya and Rukaya playing in January 2019
In July 2019, the family flew to Bangladesh with our team leader doctors. The 3rd phase of Operation Freedom, neurosurgeon, was the final separation of the brain and skulls, and the replacement and covering of the underdeveloped parts with the tissues obtained through the tissue expansion process. Special 3D modeling technology was also used for design and implementation. The mission team of Action for Defenceless People Foundation consisted of 35; 19 doctors and 16 scrub nurses, assistants, and documentation staff in August.
The final separation was followed the 4th phase of Operation Freedom. Several reconstruction surgeries (e.g. cranial implant insertion) were performed during multiple missions to Bangladesh where Dr. Pataki and his Hungarian team performed surgery on other patients in need, too.
If our tight finances allowed, these would be followed by the complete rehabilitation of the twins. Rabeya is a fully functioning 4-year-old but Rukaya still has a long way to go since she has suffered brain hemorrhage due to complications of a viral infection that occurred weeks after the final separation.
The twins, now separated, in March 2020
The rehabilitation plans are ready. Our team is ready. Please help us with your donations to make this happen, be a part of this miracle!
The team believes in the power of faith and science because they both support the surgery series.
More information on our Foundation, which is board-certified in Hungary: cselekves.org/en
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