After almost three decades together, Laden and Laleh Bijani just wanted to live separate lives. But the operation that was meant to grant the conjoined Iranian twins their wish ended up killing them instead.
Despite being conjoined at the head, the sisters sought separate futures. Ladan wanted to return to Shiraz to study law. Laleh planned to move to Teheran and work as a journalist. They knew the four-day surgery was risky; doctors only gave them a 50-50 chance of survival.
On Sunday, an international team of neurosurgeons and support staff at Raffles Hospital in Singapore began the procedure. Once the twins were separated, doctors planned to take a skin graft from their thighs to cover their exposed brains. But during the surgery, circulation between the twins became unstable and they both lost a lot of blood.
Laden and Laleh Bijani died on July 8. They were 29.