Joseph and Luka Banda

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Joseph and Luka Banda
Joseph and Luka Banda.jpg
Born (1997-01-23) January 23, 1997 (age 24)
Lusaka, Zambia
Known forConjoined twins

Joseph Banda and Luka Banda (born January 23, 1997 in Lusaka, Zambia)[1] are twin brothers who were born type 2 vertical craniopagus twins. They were born joined at the back of the skull and faced in opposite directions, making it one of the most complicated births in the known history of Zambia.

The operation

In December 1997, Dr. Ben Carson, an American neurosurgeon, led a team of 50 Zambian and South African specialists to separate the 11-month-old twins in what was dubbed "Operation Impossible". The twins did not share any organs, but shared intricate blood vessels that flowed into each other's brains.

The team sang hymns to get them through the marathon procedure which lasted 30 hours.[2]On 31 December 1997, the operation was successful. "Soon after separation, the babies were seeing each other for the first time," said Dr. Tackson Lambart, of University Teaching Hospital (UTH), who was among the Zambian team in the operation.

After the operation

In 2001, the twins were fitted with artificial skulls to permanently close their heads, and are neurologically normal. In an interview, Dr. Carson stated about the operation:

"In the end, the Bandas became the first Type 2 craniopagus twins (joined at the head and facing in opposite directions) ever separated with both surviving and both being neurologically normal."[3]

Personal lives

Joseph and Luka were born to David Banda and wife Joyce. They have five other siblings[4] and are residing in Chilenje South in Lusaka.

In 2015, they graduate from high school.[5]


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  1. Zambia: Zambian Siamese Twins Return Home Chibi Kubantu, Inter Press Service English News Wire 1998-04-09 (subscription required)
  2. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  3. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  4. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  5. Ben Carson to visit Zambia The Post, 9 December 2015

External links