Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London recently announced they had successfully separated conjoined twin girls after several surgeries totaling over 50 hours.

Safa and Marwa Ullah, now 2 years old, endured four operations within the past year. They were born in Charsadda, Pakistan, with their skulls and blood vessels joined.

The girls’ mother, Zainab Bibi, said, “We are indebted to the hospital and to the staff and we would like to thank them for everything they have done. We are extremely excited about the future.” Sadly, the father of the twins, died of a heart attack before their births.

To complete the procedures, surgeons used virtual reality to recreate the girls’ skulls. They practiced on models made via 3D printing.

A private donor paid for the surgeries, but unfortunately all did not go smoothly as one of the girls suffered a stroke during one of the procedures. In the final operation, doctors were able to rebuild the skulls using the girls’ own bones.

Neurosurgeon Noor Ul Owase Jeelani and craniofacial surgeon Professor David Dunaway said they were happy with how they were able to help Safa and Marwa and with the results of their treatment.

Conjoined twins are extremely rare, happening once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births. But thanks to new and emerging technology, the chances of separating them successfully are getting better all the time.

These little girls are well on their way to good health and happiness.