Parents' joy as they prepare to bring Little Fighters home
THE parents of 'Little Fighters' Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf are expected to welcome the boys back to their home in Carrigtwohill this weekend.
The twins are still recovering from their marathon separation surgery and have been cared for at Cork University Hospital since returning from London's Great Ormond Street Hospital on Friday.
The five-month-old boys defied expectations when they recovered unusually rapidly from the 14-hour surgery on April 7, and are due to be discharged from Cork Hospital in the coming days.
Contrary to weekend media reports, the Benhaffafs have not signed any media deals and have no agreement with magazines, newspapers or TV stations.
They previously agreed to take part in an ITV documentary in order to ensure that future parents of conjoined twins would have a useful record when preparing for separation surgery.
The family is now expected to take some time to settle the two boys back home before speaking publicly of their epic journey during a civic reception next month.
The event, which will be held at Cork City Hall, is being organised by the local council as a fitting tribute to the huge battle fought by the Little Fighters and their family.
Their mother, Angie Benhaffaf, has previously spoken of her gratitude for the huge support from Cork people, insisting that "the whole of Cork" is invited to the reception.
Meanwhile, fundraising is continuing in the Rebel county and throughout the country, as well-wishers rally to raise enough money to cover the costs of the twins' medical treatment.
The Little Fighters page on the social networking site Facebook has attracted thousands of comments.
The twins' devoted mum has also taken time to add her remarks, telling supporters that the level of goodwill towards her sons "keeps us going".
Although Hassan and Hussein will each be fitted with a prosthetic leg once they are old enough to walk, the boys have not required any cosmetic surgery and are unlikely to need any major medical treatment from now on.
Angie and her husband Azzedine and daughters Malika (6) and Iman (2) relocated to London towards the end of March and had expected to remain there for four months while the twins recovered.
However, their rapid recovery prompted a major celebration in Cork at the weekend as the family arrived home two months ahead of schedule.