After her fertility treatments, Egyptian Naglaa Mohamed felt blessed when she found out she was pregnant with twins. However, the pregnancy was difficult, and Naglaa often was left extremely tired and weak. But it wasn't until the delivery the doctors discovered something was terribly wrong. Just minutes after the first baby, Manar, was born, doctors faced serious complications with the remaining twin.
Doctors performed an emergency C-section and quickly learned that the second baby was conjoined…attached at the head!
However, that's not all! The twins had the most unusual birth defect in the world. There are only 10 documented cases in history of craniopagus parasiticus, where one of the conjoined twins fails to fully develop a body. The head of the attached child—later named Islaam—was fully developed with eyes, a nose, mouth and even a brain. It was able to blink and smile but was not able to survive on its own.
"If you look to the babies from the front, you can see quite clearly Manar has her own face, but from the side she's completely attached to her other twin," says Dr. Abla El Alfi, one of the doctors involved in the procedure to detach Islaam from Manar. "Islaam had completely different reactions than Manar. Sometimes Manar was smiling and Islaam was crying. And you can see the different facial reactions of the two babies."