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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview with Friend of Conjoined Twins Who Died During Separation Surgery in Singapore Thursday

Aired July 9, 2003 - 20:55   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Separate coffins carrying the bodies of Ladan and Laleh Bijani should arrive in Iran Thursday. At a memorial service in Singapore, more than 40 people prayed for the sisters who lived their lives conjoined at the head. People all over the world have been touched by their bravery and determination to go through with the risky separation surgery. And joining us from CNN Center is someone who knew the twins well. last saw them a few months ago. Thank you very much for being with us tonight.
FERRY JAMEA, TWINS' FRIEND: You're welcome.

ZAHN: I know you made a number of trips to Iran to talk with the twins about this surgery. Share with us tonight what some of their fears were and what some of their hopes were.

Can you hear me?

JAMEA: I cannot hear you.

ZAHN: Let's try again. Can you hear me now?

We're going to keep on working on this and take a short break. But actually traveled to Iran four times to meet with the twins where they had very open discussions about what the reality of the surgery might be at a time when doctors were basically saying they only had a 50/50 chance of succeeding. Her story right after the short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back. We're to try to rejoin now with who joined the twins that recently underwent the separation surgery and who lost their lives, in Iran a number of times, to talk about the surgery. I hope you can hear me now. What I'd like for you to you to tell us, is a little bit of what the twins shared with you about their fears about the surgery, knowing doctors said there was a pretty good chance it wouldn't work and what some of their hopes were.

JAMEA: Well, I mean, the first time that I tried to bring them here, they were very -- they told me that at John Hopkins they told me that there's hope to make them separate and they were happy to hear that and they had a lot of hope and I had a lot of hope to bring them here. But then when I went to Iran and bring their results of the exam and the first time that I went to Iran and I brought the exams, they said they can't do it at John Hopkins.

Then the second and third time they asked me to have results of the blood vessels and then when I brought that exam, they said they have only one vessel to take the blood to their brains. So they have to give the vessel to within of them and so they're not going to do it because it's very risky and they cannot kill the other one. And they cannot decide which one to be alive, and which one to be dead.

ZAHN: Terribly, terribly difficult choices to make. Unfortunately, Ferry, we've got to move on, but I know this is a story that has touched your very deeply and millions of folks from all over the world. Again, thank you for being with us. And I'm sorry we couldn't hear you or you couldn't hear us a little earlier but nevertheless we appreciate you dropping by.

JAMEA: Thank you for having me.

ZAHN: Our pleasure. And I wanted to thank you all for joining us here. We will be back in Los Angeles for another broadcast. Same time, same place tomorrow night. We hope you'll join us then. Please stay turned for "LARRY KING LIVE", he's next.

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