Anick and Destin, two baby girls who were born naturally at 37 weeks on 23 August 2017. They endured a 15 hour motorbike journey across gruelling terrain at one week old, wrapped in a blanket. They are now being monitored at Vanga Evangelical Hospital, under the care of Dr Junior Mudji.
Without the means to conduct the complex separation surgery in Vanga's small hospital, Dr Mudji's team contacted Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), a non-profit airline operating in remote regions across the DRC.
Dr Mudji was delighted to learn that MAF could provide an emergency flight for the parents, Claudine Mukhena and Zaiko Munzadi, and the girls to Kinshasa, where the operation could be done.
MAF Pilot Brett Reierson arrived in Vanga on 2nd September, collected the family and flew the 1.5-hour journey, saving over 14 hours on treacherous roads.
When they arrived in the capital, a medic collected the patients from the aircraft and rushed them for successful separation surgery at a clinic, which was performed by a team of volunteer surgeons.
Almost one month later, MAF Pilot Nick Frey flew the family back to Vanga, and the twins and mother were re-admitted to Vanga Hospital on 7th October.
The family will be monitored for several weeks before facing the gruelling overland journey back to their remote village.
Dr Mudji, who is delighted the babies have survived said: "Thirty-seven-week-old, conjoined twins born naturally - it's unheard of! When I was told MAF could help... it was great news for us."
Pilot Brett Reierson said: "The natural delivery of conjoined twins would be rare enough in a western hospital. But for a mum and her babies to survive this type of birth in such a remote setting followed by the long and difficult journey across the jungle to be separated - it's unbelievable! It was a privilege to be part of their story."