Thursday, 4:30 PM
Conjoined Egyptian twins meet local philanthropist who paid for surgery
(John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
By Tania deLuzuriaga, Globe Staff
They sing their ABC's and play with an energy that's almost exhausting to watch. It's hard to believe that Mohamed and Ahmed Ibrahim were once conjoined twins, confined to a bed and condemned to die.
A 34-hour surgery saved their lives four years ago. Today, the boys got to meet the couple who runs the Braintree-based foundation that gave them another chance.
"I'm so proud to be able to say we helped," said Ray Tye, the liquor magnate turned philanthropist who oversees the Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation.
In 2003 Tye read a story about Mohamed and Ahmed, Egyptian brothers who were joined at the tops of their heads, a rare form of conjunction that affects just two in 250 million people.
Now 6, the boys had been brought from Egypt in 2001 to be separated, but upon their arrival doctors determined they would require a more serious and much more expensive surgery. After 18 months in the United States, doctors were considering canceling the surgery because they did not have the money needed to pay the hospital bills.
"They were going to be sent home to die," Tye said.
The Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation gave $100,000 for the boys’ 2003 surgery, which took place at the North Texas Hospital for Children in Dallas.
The twins returned home to live in Cairo, but came back to the United States this month for a check up in Dallas. Before flying back to Egypt, they stopped in Boston, where they met Tye today at the Hilton Boston Logan Airport.