Need for a happy ending
Ladan and Laleh will forever be my role models,
By Nahal Rose Lalefar
July 8, 2003
Like so many individuals around the world, I
was devastated to awake to the
news that Ladan and Laleh Bijani, the 29-year-old conjoined twins
undergone surgery to be separated, had passed away.
had I been
so emotionally involved with people I have never even met. Yet,
moment I heard about the sisters' story, I remained glued to
following the progress of their surgery hour by hour.
as if it were
my own family in that operating room in Singapore. Each time
Raffles hospital sent out a press release on the surgery,
my heart almost
beat as I waited anxiously, along with the rest of the
world, to see what
the outcome of the surgery would be.
I knew that Ladan and Laleh's chances were 50/50.
I knew that there were
major surgery risks involved given their ages. I knew that even
if all went
well with surgery, it would a long road to rehabilitation. But
still I had
hope. The sisters' positive attitudes, determination and strength
me that they would awake to see each other face to face.
is more, I was
so ecstatic to hear that not only Iran was behind the sisters,
them and supporting them, but that the whole world was right
there with them
as well. From Singapore to the U.S. and back, everyone was
touched by their
courage and charm in the face of a life-threatening operation.
brought all of us together.
Sadly, the hope and joy we all had expressed quickly
vanished when we heard
that both sisters had passed away due to severe blood loss after
completion of the 50-hour surgery. I can still hear the gasps
of shock by
the media at Raffles Hospital in Singapore after the announcement
that Ladan had passed away. I just could not believe it.
As I write this, I continue to cry over the loss
of my Iranian sisters. Not
only do I mourn the loss of these beautiful ladies, but I also
mourn for the
Iranians living in Iran right now. For so many years, most of
what they have
seen is tragedy, from the devastation of the Revolution to the
to the downward economic plight and most recently, the failed
democracy. Iranians needed this story to have a happy ending.
I am determined, however, to look for the positive
side to all of this. Ladan and Laleh will forever be my role models,
my heroes. They were two
independent, educated, courageous women who kept walking forward,
many obstacles, towards what they believed to be the right path.
so, they made all of us believe in them.
Polls showed that over
90% of those
who voted, supported the sisters' decision to go ahead with
They never once showed any fear or any hesitation. That is
the kind of
strength we should all try find within ourselves.
Finally, as their names suggest, Ladan and Laleh
were two beautiful flowers
who wilted too soon. But their legacies remain and will hopefully
forever. Let us all do our best to make sure that they are never
We mourn their passing right now, but we will always remember
of these two individuals, Ladan and Laleh.
Laleh and Ladan
letter before the operation >>>
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