A Muslim doctor based at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital has successfully separated two Jewish conjoined twins in Israel, the first time he operated outside the UK.
Dr Noor Ul Owase Jeelani, born in Kashmir, is considered a leading expert on separating conjoined twins and has spent the last six months working with an Israeli team to help two infants joined at the head.
He said: “All children are the same, whatever colour or religion.”
The operation took place at the Soroka University Medical Centre in the Israeli city of Beersheba and the twins are now expected to lead normal lives.
Dr Jeelani, a paediatric neurosurgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital, has carried out four separation operations on conjoined twins before.
Together with colleague Professor David Dunaway, both surgeons are considered leading experts of such procedures.
In each case, the children were joined at the head with intertwined brains, shared blood vessels, and fused skulls.
To carry out the procedure in Israel, Dr Jeelani reportedly agreed to operate outside of the UK for the first time.
As a Muslim, the doctor said it was “fantastic” to scrub up alongside Israeli medics and help a Jewish family, adding: “All children are the same, whatever colour or religion. The distinctions are man-made. A child is a child. From a doctor’s point of view, we’re all one.”
The doctor said that he has been working for around half a year in preparation for the operation on the Israeli twins.
He told The Times of Israel: “We’ve been involved right from the start, talking to the team in Israel and planning it with them over a period of six months.”