Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated

On 17/11/2009, in News, by admin
For the first time in their young lives, twin sisters joined at the head are today lying in individual beds after an incredible 29-hour operation to separate them.
Krishna and Trishna, orphans aged two years and 11 months, from Bangladesh, were given only a 50 per cent chance of surviving the Melbourne operation without brain damage – and there was also the possibility that one or both could die.
But today the Royal Children’s Hospital head of surgery, Leo Donnan, stepped from the operating theatre to announce: ‘They have been successfully separated.’
The dangerous brain surgery, involving separating blood tissue and blood vessels at the back of each head, severing the skulls and eventually sealing the holes in the bone, is a event not only for the girls but for the surgeons involved.
‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime operation that teams would do,’ said Mr Donnan, who cautioned that there ‘still is a long way to go.’
The little girls, he added ‘have a very difficult time ahead of them.
‘For the hospital, it is a historic moment and, for the girls, an even more historic moment.’
Teams of surgeons worked in rotation throughout the long and tense process but now, with the operation a huge success so far Mr Donnan admitted that the point they had now reached was ‘a very nice stage to move into.’
However, it will be at least a month and beyond before surgeons will be able to say whether the operation had been a total success.
Krishna and Trishna were orphaned at birth and were discovered by Moira Kelly’s Melbourne-based Children First Foundation.
Krishna and Trishna. Pic: Royal Children's Hospital

Krishna and Trishna. Pic: Royal Children's Hospital

For the first time in their young lives, twin sisters joined at the head are today lying in individual beds after an incredible 29-hour operation to separate them.

Krishna and Trishna, orphans aged two years and 11 months, from Bangladesh, were given only a 50 per cent chance of surviving the Melbourne operation without brain damage – and there was also the possibility that one or both could die.

But today the Royal Children’s Hospital head of surgery, Leo Donnan, stepped from the operating theatre to announce: ‘They have been successfully separated.’

The dangerous brain surgery, involving separating brain tissue and blood vessels at the back of each head, severing the skulls and eventually sealing the holes in the bone, is a major event not only for the girls but for the surgeons involved.

‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime operation that teams would do,’ said Mr Donnan, who cautioned that there ‘still is a long way to go.’

The little girls, he added ‘have a very difficult time ahead of them.

‘For the hospital, it is a historic moment and, for the girls, an even more historic moment.’

Teams of surgeons worked in rotation throughout the long and tense process but now, with the operation a huge success so far, Mr Donnan declared that the point they had reached was ‘a very nice stage to move into.’

However, it will be at least a month and beyond before surgeons will be able to say whether the operation had been a total success.

Krishna and Trishna were orphaned at birth and were discovered by Moira Kelly’s Melbourne-based Children First Foundation

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Rudd says sorry to forgotten Australians
AAP
November 16, 2009 11:18am
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KEVIN Rudd has apologised to forgotten Australians saying the nation is sorry for their physical suffering, emotional starvation and the cold absence of love and tenderness during their forced care.
“Sorry that as children you were taken from your families and placed in institutions where often you were abused,” he said.
Hundreds of people, many of them forgotten Australians, have gathered in parliament’s Great Hall to hear both the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull offer an apology.
They welcomed the Prime Minister with rapturous applause and hooting.
The audience included former child migrants separated from their families in Britain.
They and others were placed with foster parents or in orphanages run by the states and churches up until the late 1970s.
Many suffered ill-treatment and some sexual abuse.
Mr Rudd told those gathered that Australia was “Sorry for the physical suffering, emotional starvation and the cold absence of love, of tenderness, of care.”
He said that part of Australia’s history was filled with shame.
“As a nation we must now reflect on those who did not receive proper care.
“We look back with shame that so many of you were left cold, hungry and alone and with nowhere to hide and nobody, absolutely nobody, to whom to turn.
Mr Rudd acknowledged the pain of children shipped to Australia as migrants.
“Robbed of your families, robbed of your homeland, regarded not as innocent children, but regarded instead as a source of child labour.
“To those of you who were told you were orphans, brought here without your parents’ knowledge or consent, we acknowledge the lies you were told, the lies told to your mothers, fathers and the pain these lies have caused for a lifetime.”
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Thousands of British children forced to make the long sea journey to Australia in the belief that their parents had died finally received an official apology today (Mon) for the abuse they suffered in their new country.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has shown the way to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown into apologising to the abused and neglected child migrants by uttering a word the former migrants had waited years to hear:
‘Sorry’.
Mr Rudd went further, to say that he was ‘deeply sorry’ for the pain caused to not only the British migrants but to hundreds of thousands of Australian children who were placed into state care where they were sexually abused, beaten and humiliated.
‘We look back with shame that so many of you were left cold, hungry and alone and with nowhere to hide and nobody, absolutely nobody, to whom to turn,’ said Mr Rudd.
Mr Rudd said the nation was sorry for the physical suffering, emotional starvation and the cold absence of love and tenderness during the forced care suffered by the children who arrived on ships or who were already in Australia.
He said he was ‘sorry that as children you were taken from your families and placed in institutions where often they were abused.’
Hundreds of those children, now in their 50s and beyond gathered in parliament’s Great hall in Canberra to hear the apology, not only from Labour Prime Minister Mr Rudd but from the Liberal (conservative) leader, Malcolm Turnbull.
As youngsters, they were placed with foster parents or put into orphanages in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, where they suffered ill-treatment and in some cases sexual abuse.
Part of Australia’s history, said Mr Rudd, was filled with shame and ‘as a nation we must now reflect on those who did not receive proper care.’
Speaking of the British child migrants, he said: ‘Robbed of your families, robbed of your homeland, regarded not as innocent children, but regarded instead as a source of child labour.
‘To those who you who were told you were orphans, brought here without your parents’ knowledge or consent, we acknowledge the lies you were told, the lies told to your mothers, fathers and the pain these lies have caused for a lifetime.’
Mr Rudd’s apology comes after an announcement by the British government that Mr Brown would apologise for the forced migration policy next year.
The policy saw many children, who were shipped to Australia to increase the white population and build up the work force, educated only for farm work.
The founder of the Child Migrants Trust, Margaret Humphreys, travelled from England to Australia to hear the apology today.
For more than 20 years, she said, the trust had campaigned for recognition of what had happened to children.
‘This is a moment – a significant moment – in the history of child migration. The recognition is vital if people are to recover,’ she said.
Up to 10,000 children were forced to go to Australia, among them Harold Haig, now a spokesman for the International Association of Former Child Migrants and Their Families.
He said the apology should be followed by compensation from governments.
‘Federal governments played a direct role in the migration scheme,’ he said.
‘We were told we were orphans and we found out in our 40s, 50s and 60s that was all a lie. We see the national apology as the first step, but our struggle for compensation will not end.’
Eight years ago a Senate inquiry held in Australia into child migrants heard from people like Cliff Walsh, who was deported from the UK in 1954 without the knowledge of his parents, and Margaret Gallagher who was wrongly told she was an orphan with no family in England.
They and others told the inquiry of physical and sexual abuse, deprived of food and education and healthcare and often forced to work as slave labour.
Child Migrants

Child Migrants in the 1940s

Half a million Australian children and thousands more from Britain forced to make the long sea journey to Australia in the belief that their parents had died have finally received an official apology for the abuse they suffered in state ‘care’.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has shown the way to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown into apologising to the abused and neglected child migrants and ‘stolen’ Australian children by uttering a word they had waited more than half a century to hear: ‘Sorry’.

Mr Rudd went further, to say that he was in fact ‘deeply sorry’ for the pain caused to not only the British migrants but to hundreds of thousands of Australian children who were placed into state care where they were sexually abused, beaten and humiliated.

‘We look back with shame that so many of you were left cold, hungry and alone and with nowhere to hide and nobody, absolutely nobody, to whom to turn,’ said Mr Rudd.

Mr Rudd said the nation was sorry for the physical suffering, emotional starvation and the cold absence of love and tenderness during the forced care suffered by the children who arrived on ships or who were already in Australia.

He said he was ‘sorry that as children you were taken from your families and placed in institutions where often they were abused.’

Hundreds of those children, now in their 50s and beyond gathered in parliament’s Great hall in Canberra to hear the apology, not only from Labour Prime Minister Mr Rudd but from the Liberal (conservative) leader, Malcolm Turnbull.

As youngsters, they were placed with foster parents or put into orphanages in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, where they suffered ill-treatment and in some cases sexual abuse.

Part of Australia’s history, said Mr Rudd, was filled with shame and ‘as a nation we must now reflect on those who did not receive proper care.’

Speaking of the British child migrants, he said: ‘Robbed of your families, robbed of your homeland, regarded not as innocent children, but regarded instead as a source of child labour.

‘To those who you who were told you were orphans, brought here without your parents’ knowledge or consent, we acknowledge the lies you were told, the lies told to your mothers, fathers and the pain these lies have caused for a lifetime.’

Mr Rudd’s apology comes after an announcement by the British government that Mr Brown would apologise for the forced migration policy next year.

The policy saw many children, who were shipped to Australia to increase the white population and build up the work force, educated only for farm work.

The founder of the Child Migrants Trust, Margaret Humphreys, travelled from England to Australia to hear the apology today.

For more than 20 years, she said, the trust had campaigned for recognition of what had happened to children.

‘This is a moment – a significant moment – in the history of child migration. The recognition is vital if people are to recover,’ she said.

Up to 10,000 children were forced to go to Australia, among them Harold Haig, now a spokesman for the International Association of Former Child Migrants and Their Families.

He said the apology should be followed by compensation from governments.

‘Federal governments played a direct role in the migration scheme,’ he said.

‘We were told we were orphans and we found out in our 40s, 50s and 60s that was all a lie. We see the national apology as the first step, but our struggle for compensation will not end.’

Eight years ago a Senate inquiry held in Australia into child migrants heard from people like Cliff Walsh, who was deported from the UK in 1954 without the knowledge of his parents, and Margaret Gallagher who was wrongly told she was an orphan with no family in England.

They and others told the inquiry of physical and sexual abuse, deprived of food and education and healthcare and often forced to work as slave labour.

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My Picture of the Week

On 15/11/2009, in Photo of the week, by admin
Dusk at the end of a life of poverty

Dusk at the end of a life of poverty

Browsing through thousands of pictures I’ve taken over the years, I came across this one I took in 1976 of an old woman in a sun-parched Indian village. Her stretched ear lobes are a result of having her ears pierced as a child, then wearing heavy bangles throughout her 80 years. She was living in poverty, just her, a few other villagers, a couple of cows…and the merciless sun. (Olympus OM1, Tri-X, D76). See another picture in the Photo Gallery.

 

Prince William Invited to the Jungle

On 08/11/2009, in News, by admin

Duke2

Prince William, second in line to the British throne, is due to visit Australia in January – but wouldn’t it be nice if he could fit in a ‘side trip’ to Vanuatu and say ‘g’day’ to a small tribe who worship his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, as a God?

The word from deep in the jungle is that the tribe wants William to ‘drop in’ and they’d make sure that in exchange for stories about life in London, they’d tell him all about their lifestyle, cook him a great feast of roast pig and put on a show of traditional dancing.

The Duke has had a very special – and until I revealed it two years ago – secret relationship with the Yaohnanen tribe, on the island of Tanna. They believe he is a spirit who emerged from a mountain on Tanna, made his way to England and married the Queen – and as a special gesture they sent him a war club. All they wanted in return was a picture of the Duke holding the club. He duly obliged, posing in the garden of Buckingham Palace for the remarkable photo, and even autographed it for them. Letters flowed to and fro, with two more photos turning up.

The old man in my picture, Chief Jack Naiva, begged the Duke to come and visit his people but sadly Jack has since died and the Duke is unlikely to start trudging through jungles to say hello to Jack’s family these days. But his grandson, William could. And who knows, he could become the tribe’s new God.

You can read the original, full story on this Daily Mail web page:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-388901/Is-Prince-Philip-god.html

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Britney in Perth

Britney on stage

Angry fans have stormed out of Britney Spears’ opening concert of her Australian tour,  furious at what they said was her ‘appalling’ performance – and now Britney faces  competition from an impersonator who doesn’t lip-synch.
British performer Kimberley Dayle, who has become a big hit impersonating Britney,  starts her own tour in Australia on Wednesday, and unlike Britney she will be singing  live.
Although they had been warned beforehand that Britney would be miming her hit  songs, those who walked out of the Perth, Western Australia, show said it ‘just didn’t  work’ – and even her dancing wasn’t up to the high standard they expected.
They said there was no interaction with the audience and they felt she had let down her  fans.
One fan, 32-year-old Kathy Wright, told News Ltd: ‘It was just really bad. ‘She has not  spoken – there is no interaction.’
Her friend Josh Blee added: ‘We are really big Britney fans, but it was crap…she has let  us down.’
The Circus, as her series of Australian shows has been named, lived up to its name for all the wrong reasons, said fans.
Even the giant screens that had been erected so that audience members further back from the stage could see her were disappointed because there was no vision. She was just a ‘dot’ on the stage, said one fan, perhaps to hide the fact that she was miming.
The Victorian Government is already discussing whether pop stars should be forced to reveal if they will be lip-syncing when they perform.
One suggestion is that tickets should mention that stars will not be singing live.

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