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milestone moment Mum of formerly conjoined twins says she is proud of their 'great outlook' as they turn 11

At four months old, they were separated following a 14-hour surgery in London's Great Ormond Street hospital.

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Hussein and Hassan's mum Angie Benhaffaf

Hussein and Hassan's mum Angie Benhaffaf

Hussein and Hassan's mum Angie Benhaffaf

The mother of formerly conjoined twins says the boys are “each other’s medicine” and have a great outlook on life.

Cork brothers Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf became household names when they were born conjoined from chest to pelvis in December 2009, sharing several organs.

At four months old, they were separated following a 14-hour surgery in London's Great Ormond Street hospital.

The boys, who each have one leg, have recently turned 11, and their mother Angie discussed the huge milestone for the family on Newstalk’s Alive and Kicking with Clare McKenna today.

Speaking on the airwaves, proud mum Angie said: “It's amazing if you see where the boys started off with very little hope of even surviving the birth and then another big survival to survive a 14-hour operation and over 50 surgeries to date and yet here they are amazing us.”

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Hassan and Hussein are now typical 11-year-olds.

Hassan and Hussein are now typical 11-year-olds.

Hassan and Hussein are now typical 11-year-olds.

She explained that the twins lead very different lives to the typical 11-year-old with daily medical care and hospital appointments on top of their schoolwork.

“From the time the boys wake up until the time they sleep every day daily, they would have medical care.

"They would have medication, they would have medical procedures.

"So, day to day life is very busy outside of school and homework and on top of that, you have hospital appointments, physio appointments, so very different to a typical 11-year-old.

“That actually came up recently with Hassan. He said he would love to be able to come in from school like his friends and throw down his bag and go back out and play, but a lot of the boys' week is being taken up with appointments or physio or being checked in Crumlin,” she continued.

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Angie said the boys are still determined to enjoy themselves through sports.

She shared: “The fabulous thing is they have such a positive mindset, so in their heads, anything their 11-year-old friends are doing, they feel, 'Why not, I'm going to try it'.

“That has stood to them really.

"They have just got on in life, they do their cycling, they do their sports, they swim, so there's very little sports-wise of the stuff they haven't tried with boys their age, even they put on their prosthetic legs sometimes and try football.”

Now that they twins are getting older, Angie told listeners that she finds it difficult when they go for their surgery as she can’t “bluff them through it.”

“They're 11 now and getting older and wiser and every time they go for surgery now, they know what's ahead, they're not small boys anymore and you can't bluff them through it,” she said.

“That's hard for them and it's very hard for me as a mum to watch them go through it and not be able to take it for them.”

It helps that the brothers have each other, Angie admitted, adding that she always feels that “they’re each other's medicine.”

“When one is sick or one is recovering from surgery, once they have each other I feel that's the best medicine they have because each of them knows what the other goes through so they have this little best friend and brother wrapped into one,” the mother-of-four said.

“What gets me through the day to day is I wake up and see them so positive, they've a great mindset and they just get on with it.”

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