The mother of recently separated conjoined Bangladeshi twins does not want custody of the daughters she gave up for adoption and wants them to have new lives in Australia, newspapers reported Saturday.
The twins, who turn 3 next months old, 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 in a Melbourne hospital and then underwent an additional six hours of reconstructive work.
The charity that brought Trishna and Krishna from a Dhaka orphanage to Australia two years ago for the surgery, Children First Foundation, will continue to provide care and support for the twins in Australia for at least the next two years, chief executive Margaret Smith said on Friday.
News Corp.-owned Australian newspapers on Saturday published an English translation of an interview with the 23-year-old mother, Lavlee Mollik. She said she and her husband, Kartik Mollik, were praying for their daughters' quick recovery.
"We don't want to get them back because we don't have the ability to take proper care of them," she told the Bangladesh newspaper Daily Shamokal.
But she said she missed them daily and hoped to visit them one day. "It will be the most happy day of my life if I can see them again," she said.
"I want them to live in Australia and be educated in Australia and one day when they have become very respected people, I want them to call me 'mother,'" she said.
The mother, who gave the twins up for adoption after giving birth by cesarean section, said she had followed their progress through the media.
The Associated Press on Saturday was unable to immediately contact the parents, who live in the Jessore district of southwestern Bangladesh.
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 the orphanage when they were a month old, and contacted the Children First Foundation.
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.