The parents were advised months ago to terminate the pregnancy of conjoined twins. The statistics supported the advice the 25-year-old mother received. Approximately 60 percent of conjoined twins are stillborn; not quite 35 percent survive a single day. Those who pass the first two tests receive only a chance of survival between five and 25 percent.
The ten-month-old girls were born prematurely at Texas Children’s Hospital on April 11th of last year.
The decision was made, and just last Tuesday the hospital assimilated a team who would perform the surgery. It consisted of 12 surgeons, six anesthesiologists, and eight surgical nurses. The girls were joined facing each other from the rib cage down. They shared lungs, the diaphragm, intestines, and the pelvis.
The girls, named Knatalye and Adeline required unique and separate detailed surgery to ensure survival. In an effort to instigate success, the parents gave them middle names of ‘hope’ and ‘faith.’
Knatalye was in surgery for 23 hours and her sister Adeline for 26 hours; the actual separation occurred 18 hours into the process.
After being residents of the hospital for 10 months, the girls will be able to go home as soon as they fully recover from the surgery and possess sufficient strength.
By James Turnage