Images that appeared on the Internet in early 2005 were photographs of a 10-month-old Egyptian girl named Manar Maged who was born with craniopagus parasiticus, a very rare birth defect that develops when an embryo starts to split into identical twins but does not complete the process. Often the second, undeveloped twin forms as an extra limb or trunk, but in Magar's extremely unusual case it formed as a second head attached to her skull. The twin could blink and smile but was not capable of independent life:
On 19 February 2005, Manar underwent a 13-hour operation performed by a
"She has been transferred to ordinary care two weeks ago and she is showing good signs of improvement as she can eat normally without the aid of a tube," said Abla
el-Alfy,a consultant in the paediatric intensive care at Benha Children's Hospital, north of Cairo.
She said Manar's mother was allowed to have direct contact with her baby after being separated for almost two months after the operation on
"Manar is bonding well with her mother," Alfy said.
Doctors have said Manar's case was extremely rare and just surviving the operation was a big achievement.
"I think she will be able to leave hospital as soon as we feel that her mother is capable of taking care of her," said Alfy, adding that Maged's medication was being reduced.
Manar had five subsequent surgeries to insert valves to drain excess fluid from her brain.
Unfortunately, on 25 March 2006, a little over a year after her original surgery, and just days shy of what would have been her
There had been