Heaven Sent

“We lose every battle that we do not take part in. Tomorrow, you do battle for my daughters and I’m in battle with you and we pray and support you and we have faith in you.”
– Doctor Samir Pandya, recanting what the conjoined twins’ father said to him hours prior to the second and final phase of the procedure to separate his daughters

So, last month I briefly touched upon why I have no trouble remembering the birthday of my eldest daughter, Linda, largely because it falls on December 7th. Earlier today, her husband, Samir, currently a pediatric surgeon at the Maria Fereri Children’s Hospital, an integral part of the Westchester Medical Center in New York, was profiled by NBC Today. Last week, he completed the second of two phases involved in the separation of conjoined twins, who were attached at the hip and back and shared several common systems. If you’re interested in learning more about the 22-hour procedure as well as the family involved, please visit this link: NBC Today Health and Wellness

Obviously, our entire family is immensely proud of Samir and his accomplishment, and we wish the twins godspeed and a quick recovery as they spend the next few weeks rehabbing before they can return home to the Dominican Republic. I have since been told that their overall prognosis is excellent and even though they shared portions of their lower spine, it appears as if both children will be able to walk and perform full range of motion likely without the need for any medical assistance.

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Doctors Samir Pandya and Whitney McBride, co-leads in the separation of 11-month old twins at the Maria Fereri Children’s Hospital, along side anchors Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly of Fox 5’s Good Day New York

Post Script: As Samir’s father-in-law, I feel obligated to add one final note to this amazing tale that has thus far not been touched upon by any of the antecedent news reports that have gone viral. When Samir was a teenager growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, he was attacked by a gang of youths and stabbed several times around various spots on his body. His father, an emergency room surgeon in his own right, was notified that evening that he had a patient coming in that needed immediate attention. For some inexplicable reason, he had a premonition that it was his own son that needed to be operated on, one which proved to be correct. That evening, his father repaired his son’s wounds and saved his life, thereby enabling him to go on to become a world famous surgeon. I bring up this point because in the years that followed, it isn’t easy for Samir to stand for hours on end in the operating room, much less spend upwards of 22 hours attending to the needs of his conjoined patients. Sometimes, there is a human interest story that needs to be told that lingers in the background and never comes to the fore, one that requires a little bit of prodding to come out.

Finally, this televised ad ran just minutes after the conclusion of Super Bowl LI (51) on Fox 5.

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