Do you recall the wonderful story of the twins born in Cork in 2009 who were con-joined? Little Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf were successfully separated in a marathon operation in Great Ormond Street Hospital in early 2010. The theatre team consisted of about 20 medical staff including four surgeons and four anaesthetists. The procedure lasted over 14 hours with medical staff working in shifts. The operation was successful and both boys were moved from intensive care to a surgical ward in May 2010. Their mother, Angie, wrote about the families experiences in a book which was published earlier this year. Mary Trant, having read the book, submitted the following report on the publication:
In April of this year Little Fighters: The-Million-to-One-Miracles by Angie Benhaffaf with Elaine O’Connell hit the bookshelves. We were all familiar with the story of little Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf, the two little boys from Cork who were born conjoined in December 2009. But few of us could have possibly known the full extent of this family’s heartache. We read the newspaper articles and watched the news reports on T.V. But really we were just spectators. Angie’s book has changed all that.
I have just finished reading Little Fighters and I can say without a shadow of doubt it is the most amazing book I have ever read. In fact I only put the book down to dry my tears. I know that it is a book that I will read over and over again. Between the covers of this book, Angie shares every step of her journey with the reader, from the first day when she found out her precious babies were conjoined, right through the pregnancy and birth and then Hassan and Hussein’s separation surgery. You will experience a multitude of emotions with every page you turn. The book is both heart breaking and heart warming in equal measures and will leave you totally in awe of every member of the Benhaffaf family. Angie, Azzedine and their two little daughters show levels of strength and courage that are beyond belief, as they make this journey with Hassan and Hussein.
Angie lays her soul bare in this amazing book. It is written straight from a mothers heart and people everywhere, especially mothers will feel Angie’s pain as she hands over her precious little babies, to the surgical team, on the day of their separation, not knowing what the outcome would be and people will also rejoice with Angie and Azzedine when they get to hold their little boys for the first time after their surgery.
Little Fighters is a story of love, devotion, hope and above all the faith that Angie has in her aptly named little fighters. Angie says in her book that miracles do happen and dreams do come true. After reading Little Fighters you too will share this belief and feel like part of this lovely family. Your dearest wish will be that one day Hassan and Hussein will stand tall and walk hand-in-hand together because that is what Angie and Azzedine’s dearest wish and greatest hope is too.