Conjoined twins Marieme and Ndeye feature in new documentary

20 Feb 2024, 1 p.m.

Marieme and Ndeye are two little girls pictured together in a black and white photo.

A new documentary "Inseparable Sisters" tells the story of GOSH patients, Marieme and Ndeye as they celebrate their seventh birthday.

Marieme and Ndeye were born conjoined in Senegal in 2016 and were seven months old when they first visited Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

Their father Ibrahima had spoken to hospitals around the world and had asked the team at GOSH to help. He had originally hoped the girls may be able to separated.

Ibrahima and a huge team of medical experts at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children discussed at length the complex decision of whether or not to separate the girls. After many discussions, and input from a wide range of teams, it was decided their best option would be not to separate them.

At the time, the BBC followed the family and the GOSH clinicians, as they worked through this decision together, to make the documentary "The Conjoined Twins: An Impossible Decision".

Now, almost five years later, BBC Wales has worked with the family to capture their seventh birthday and what life is like for them living in Cardiff and attending mainstream school.

‘They love school – although maths is not their cup of tea’.

Now seven and attending school Marieme and Ndeye’s father, Ibrahima says that the twins are adapting well.

He said: “They love school and are very curious about learning, although maths is not their cup of tea!

“I’m just so proud to see them go to mainstream school, learning with their friends and being part of the community.

University Hospital of Wales are a huge part of the girls’ care, and they still regularly visit many teams at GOSH.

Ibrahima said: “GOSH is like our family – without GOSH they wouldn’t be here. The girls always ask when our next appointment is so they can see their favourite nurses and visit the Disney Reef.”

'It’s an honour and privilege to see Marieme and Ndeye growing up and going to school'

GOSH has cared for more conjoined twins than anywhere in the world. Marieme and Ndeye were one of the six sets of twins who came together to reunite at GOSH Conjoined Twins day in October last year.

Marieme and Ndeye continue to visit GOSH several times a year to receive clinical care from a wide range of teams. This includes Specialist Neonatal and Paediatric Surgery (SNAPS), orthopaedics, haematology, urology, general surgery, plastics, anaesthetics, and intensive care teams.

Dedicated paediatricians, ward nurses and allied health professionals including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, speech and language therapists, and the Play team all perform a vital part in the care of the girls.

Professor Paolo De Coppi, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at GOSH aid: “It’s an honour and privilege to see Marieme and Ndeye growing up and going to school.

“We are so glad we were able to work closely with Ibrahima to decide what was best for the girls. It was an incredibly tough and difficult decision but to see how well they are doing now is something to be celebrated.”

View "Inseparable Sisters" on BBC iPlayer from Wednesday 21st February and on BBC One on Wednesday at 22:40 GMT.

For viewers in Wales, it will be on BBC One Wales on Wednesday at 20:00 GMT.

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