One in every 200,000 babies born are conjoined twins. Of this number, 40 to 60% deliveries result in stillbirths. Around 35% of conjoined twins don’t survive their first 24 hours of life. It’s rare enough for them to make it through one day, but what’s even more amazing is when they pull through and thrive for months, even years.
Thanks to the medical team at The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP) who performed a grueling 11-hour procedure, twin girls Erin and Abby Delaney now have a shot at a normal life, two months before their first birthday.
Over the past five decades, the success rates of this risky surgery have improved. Now, about 75 percent, are successful.
Prior to surgery, Erin and Abby were twins connected a the head, which is also known as craniopagus. This type of conjoined twins is rare; it occurs in about 2% of cases.
“Erin and Abby are now recovering in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit under close monitoring by our expert teams,” plastic surgeon Dr. Jesse Taylor told Medical Daily.
Dr. Gregory Heuer recounted how they began by separating the twins’ shared blood vessels as well as the membrane around their brains. Then, they parted more parts of their brain, which was the riskiest part. For the last part, they split their team into two for the reconstruction of their heads—one for Erin and one for Abby.
“When we go home, it’s going to be a big party,” gushed Heather, the twins’ mom. “Welcome home, baby shower, first birthday.”
Just recently, we learned about the story of 6-year-old conjoined twins Chiara and Charina Nortega of Palawan. Their parents are still hoping to be able to raise enough funds for surgery. We wish Chiara and Charina’s family gets the help they need and that these brave little girls pull through, just like Erin and Abby!
lead photo: Stephanie Stahl facebook public photo
READ: Conjoined twins successfully undergo a 12-hour surgery to separate their bodies
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