Twins a step closer to living normal life

THE first hurdle towards total happiness was removed and the beginning of a new life for twins born with deformed feet and hands got under way without any hiccups when their extra fingers were removed at St Aiden's Hospital in Durban.

Sisters Bongiwe and Bongekile Mthembu, 15, of Jozini, were born with deformed hands and feet that each had six fingers and seven toes.

Yesterday they were operated on and had their extra fingers removed. Now they are waiting for the big day when their extra toes will be removed.

The operation on their feet will be done on August 2.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday afternoon, minutes after the successful operation of the twins' fingers, their mother, Hlaleleni Mpontshane, who had slept at the hospital, could not contain her joy.

"I am so happy to see them.

"But I will be even happier when their extra toes are gone because it is these toes that were causing all the problems," she said.

"My children became a laughing stock in the community, not because of the extra fingers, but of the extra toes. When they are removed I will be overjoyed."

Meanwhile, wishes of good luck and prayers flooded Sowetan from well-wishers and some Good Samaritans pledged to donate new pairs of shoes to the twins as soon as they were completely healed.

"It has been their wish to wear shoes for the first time and I want to be the first to buy them those shoes," said one reader, who asked not to be named.

Some said they would be donating clothes for the needy family.

"Their plight touched many people because it is something you hardly hear about," said another.