Henri R. Ford, MD, FACS, completed the first separation of conjoined twins in his native country of Haiti. CBS News reported on this surgical milestone on June 7. Dr. Ford, who is a member of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Regents and several other ACS committees, assembled a team of more than two dozen volunteer health professionals from the U.S. who trained for months with Haitian medical staff for the procedure. The operation to separate the 6-month-old girls, Marian and Michelle Bernard, who were joined at the abdomen, took nearly 7 hours. They left the hospital in early June, 2 weeks after the procedure was completed.
Physicians at University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, where the operation was performed, contacted Dr. Ford, chief of surgery at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, CA, when the twins were born in November. Dr. Ford told CBS News it was “extremely gratifying” to be able to perform the operation in his home country alongside Haitian surgeons whom he helped to train.
Dr. Ford left Haiti with his family as a teenager to move to New York, NY, but returned for 2 weeks after the 2010 earthquake. Since that trip, Dr. Ford has returned regularly to provide medical care to its residents. The earthquake prompted the Haitian government to team up with Partners in Health, an organization that provides modern medical care to resource-poor countries, and opened University Hospital in 2013.
View a video clip of the “Sunday Morning” newscast online at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/conjoined-twins-delicate-separation/.