PARENTS

Heartwarming Moment Successfully Separated Conjoined Twins Hussein And Hassan See Their Wish Come True

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

Formerly conjoined brothers Hussein and Hassan Benhaffaf meet dolphin with no tail

Brothers who were once conjoined from chest to pelvis have met their hero - a dolphin who lost her tail when she was just a calf.

Four-year-olds Hussein and Hassan Benhaffaf, from County Cork, Ireland, were on holiday at Florida's Clearwater Marine Aquarium where they met Winter the bottle nose dolphin, star of the 2011 family film Dolphin Tale.

The twins were separated in a rare operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital in February 2010 when they were just five months old.

They had their liver, bladder, gut and intestine divided in a highly complex procedure which was described at the time as a near-miraculous success.

They have had several operations since and Hussein returned to the London hospital last summer for incisional hernia surgery, believed to have been caused by wounds from the first operation not fully healing.

His mother Angie Benhaffaf said last year: "It's the first time since they were separated that I've absolutely feared I'd lose one of them.

"I worried that Hussein wasn't going to live through that night. I was terrified."

Angie and her husband Azzedine are full-time carers to the twins.

She said: "Some days I wake up and feel that it's all too much, too tough. Then I remind myself that I have to be positive for my children."

But the family have had a rare break as they went to Florida for a holiday together with the twins' sisters Malika, 10, and Iman, six.

They were taken to meet Winter with the help of the aquarium's trainer Cammie Zodrow and two prosthetics experts who helped fit Winter with a fake tail.

Since starring in the film, the dolphin has become a prime attraction at the aquarium.

At just three months old, she became trapped in a crab trap line off the Florida coast and was unable to escape.

When she washed up at a lagoon, rescuers had no choice but to amputate her tail and two vertebrae due to the seriousness of her injuries.

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