Asree Gul, Afghan Baby Born with Extra Head, Saved by Surgeons

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In a rare defect, twin girl Asree Gul was born with an extra head attached to her scalp. Although she would likely have died quickly from the deformity, surgeons in her homeland of Afghanistan successfully removed the extra head and baby Asree is now recovering.

Ahmad Obaid Mojadidi, chief surgeon in the operation, said, “Her mother gave birth to twins, two girls. One girl was in good health but the other had an abnormality. She had an extra head attached to her head. We separated the extra head from her body.”

Asree was released from the hospital on Wednesday, and the forecast looks good after the successful surgery.

The operation took place in the poor city of Jalalabad in the Chaparhar district, and was reportedly the most complicated operation ever to be performed in the city’s hospital. Doctors had to take extra caution because the extra skull was attached to vital blood vessels.

The hospital provided the surgery free of charge because Asree’s parents had no way of paying for it themselves.

Asree’s father, Nematullah, admitted that he had doubts that his daughter would survive. He said, “The doctors saved her life. I thank them.”

Asree’s extra head was most likely the result of a potential triplet, but the third baby did not develop correctly. The condition is called craniopagus parasiticus, and one famous case occurred in 2005 to an Egyptian baby named Manar Maged.

Although Asree’s twin was born healthy, she reportedly had trouble sleeping, possibly due to her sister’s condition.

Although Afghanistan is a wartorn country with few of the perks of modern medical care, hospitals have improved over the past decade due to donations from foreign countries. Without this aid, it is unclear whether Asree would have received her needed operation.

Asree’s parents are farmers, and her name means “new flower.”

Sources: Huffington Post, Daily Mail