Formerly Conjoined Twins Doing 'Fantastic' 4 Months After Surgery To Separate Them


Formerly conjoined twins Erin and Abby Delaney are doing well four months after they received surgery to separate them, and they will soon be coming home.

Now 15 months since they were born joined at the head, the Delaney sisters are recovering from an 11-hour surgery and are achieving various developmental milestones while doing so.

Delaney Twins Are Doing 'Fantastic'

Last June, just before the first birthday of Erin and Abby, a team of 30 surgeons at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia carried out an 11-hour surgery to separate the conjoined twins. The hospital had previously separated 23 conjoined twins, the most for any hospital in the western hemisphere, but it had never done so for twins connected at the head.

That is, until now. The surgery was successful, and now 15-month-old Erin and Abby are hitting developmental milestones while sitting side by side instead of being connected at the head.

Heather, the mother of the twins, knows that there is a tough road ahead for her family. This is especially true for Abby, who was cut off from a vital cranial blood vessel in her head that she used to share with Erin.

"The doctors have a lot of hope for what the girls can do. But we won't really know what kind of deficits they have until they're about 3. For now, they're doing fantastic," Heather said.

Heather and the twins' father, Riley, are expecting to bring their babies back to Mooresville, North Carolina as early as November. This will allow the four to celebrate Thanksgiving at their home, and the Delaney family certainly has a lot to be thankful for after the successful surgery on Erin and Abby.

Other Cases Of Conjoined Twins

The case of the Delaney sisters leads to one of the few good endings for conjoined twins. Another success story involving conjoined twins is Anias and Jadon McDonald, who, like the Delaney sisters, were connected at the head but were successfully separated in October 2016. An even more amazing case is the story of Carmen and Lupita Andrade, who, at 16 years old, are living without the need for surgery while attached from their chest walls down to their pelvis.

Most cases of conjoined twins, however, end in tragedy. Such cases occur once every 50,000 to 60,000 births and most are stillborn. Last January, a conjoined twins with two separate heads sharing one body was born in Mexico, but the babies passed away before a life-saving treatment became available. 

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