MELBOURNE, Australia – Formerly conjoined Bangladeshi twins separated this week in a marathon surgery will remain in the care of a humanitarian group for at least two years, the organization's CEO said Friday.
The Children First Foundation, which brought Trishna and Krishna to Australia for the surgery, will continue to provide care and support for the twins throughout their recoveries, CEO Margaret Smith said.
"They have got to be here for another couple of years — they are going to need a lot of additional help," she said. "They are here for the time being."
The twins, who turn 3 next month, had been joined at the top of their heads and shared brain tissue and blood vessels. They were separated Tuesday after 25 hours of delicate surgery, and then underwent an additional six hours of reconstructive work.
Trishna awoke from a medically induced coma Thursday and was talking and behaving normally.
In a statement Friday, officials at Royal Children's Hospital said Krishna was still slowly being brought out of her coma.
"She is more alert, starting to breathe more and opening her eyes," the statement said.
Krishna is expected to have a longer period of adjustment as the separation brought more changes to her body and brain's blood circulation. Both girls were in serious but stable condition Friday.
Wirginia Maixner, the hospital's director of neurosurgery, said there may be minor changes to the girls from where their brains were separated but that overall the brains looked good. MRI scans Wednesday showed no signs of brain injury.
Doctors had earlier said there was a 50-50 chance that one of the girls could suffer brain damage from the complicated separation.
An aid worker first saw Trishna and Krishna in a Bangladeshi orphanage in 2007 when they were only a month old, and contacted the Children First Foundation, which brought them to Australia.
Smith said it was too early to say whether the girls' legal guardian, Children First Foundation founder Moira Kelly, would adopt them.
"I think she'd like to do that, but that's something we can't make a decision on at the moment," Smith said.
The foundation raised almost 250,000 Australian dollars ($229,000) for the cost of caring for the twins in between numerous earlier surgeries to separate blood vessels connecting their brains. A mystery benefactor funded all hospital costs, Smith said.