Earlier this month, the Syrian government allowed for conjoined twins Nawras and Moaz to be evacuated from a rebel-held suburb of Damascus to receive treatment. The one-month-old twins, who were waiting for documentation to leave for country for surgery, have passed away, according to the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS).
Nawras and Moaz were born July 23 via a caesarean section delivery in the Zahra hospital in Douma, a war-torn town in the eastern Ghouta region of Syria. The twins, who weighed less than 12 pounds at birth, are joined at the belly and have hearts in the same protective sac.
Being undersupplied, the Zohra hospital was not able to provide the twins the proper care they needed, says the SAMS. Doctors in the hospital appealed to have the twins shifted to a children’s hospital.
“In #Syria, there are thousands of brave little hearts that are living under siege and in need of care,” wrote the Syrian American Medical Society, which has offered to pay for the surgery, in a Facebook post last week.
The twins and their mother were moved to a hospital in a government-controlled area in Damascus after eventually turning to social media to get the government’s attention using the hashtag #EvacuateTheTwins.
“If these were two boys born in Damascus, they could have been taken out within 48 hours to another country,” said Dr. Bakr Abu Ebrahem, who delivered the twins, to The Wall Street Journal. “But only because they were born in the Ghouta, they have delayed.”
The move from Ghouta to Damascus was a temporary fix as experts did not believe any hospital in Syria would be able to perform the surgery required.
“Our concern is that the Damascus regime will not allow them to go out just because it has conflict with the countries that offered to help,” said Mohamad Katoub, the Turkey advocacy manager for the SAMS, to The Journal last week.
Katoub took to Twitter to announce the death of the twins on Tuesday night. “Nawras and Moaz passed away this early Morning,” wrote Katoub. “The whole world couldn't have the permission to evacuate them.”