It was a big thing for Heather Delaney and her partner when she found out she was pregnant. This was further heightened when the couple found they were to be the parents of twins!
Unfortunately, Heather’s pregnancy proved to be a rough ride … one made all the more strenuous after it became apparent that her babies’ heads were conjoined.
Uncommon or common?
It may come as a relative surprise, but cases of conjoined twins aren’t nearly so rare as the average person believes. When it comes to identical twins, 1 in 200 pregnancies and 1 in 49,000-189,000 births result in conjoined twins. Sure, they sound like big numbers, but given how many babies are born the world over each day …
The real rarity when it comes to conjoined babies lies in the mortality rate. Sadly, only 18% of conjoined babies survive to be born – the majority of such pregnancies usually end in miscarriage.
Alas, Heather and her husband remained hopeful, and their faith was rewarded when Abby and Erin were successfully delivered. Even so, they still faced a monumental battle. The newborns were kept in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for the first 485 days of their lives so that they could undergo the operation.
The operation itself – and, of course, we’re talking about the one to separate the girls – took more than 11 hours and 30 members of staff. When all was said and done, however, the determined team of doctors were able to declare success.
Abby’s sinuses will be missing some parts, and there are other minor complications to consider, but all in all these girls have proven themselves adept fighters when it comes to battling the odds.
What’s more, since the surgery the girls are reportedly recovering well! According to Science Daily, a year and a half after the operation the twins are living a normal life.
Their rapid recovery is due in part to the fact the procedure was undertaken when they were so young.
You can see more on Abby and Erin’s tricky start to life in the video below:
I’m so happy this operation was a success, and even more so that Abby and Erin can live life with a semblance of normality from here on in!
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