For the first time in medical history at a North Texas children's hospital, conjoined twins were separated after months of being face-to-face after they were born. Dozens of medical experts were able to make this medical miracle happen.
“We went through the scary stuff," said James Finley who is the father of the twins.
Parents Finley and Amanda Arciniega have been going through a lot over the past couple of months. They found out they were pregnant with twins and then things took a turn.
“So sure enough when we go she was like yeah there’s no separation, they’re conjoined. On the ride home, we were quiet and it was kind of sad," said Arciniega.
The process has been hard, but the two remained strong and leaned on one another while doctors at Cook Children's Medical Center prepared to separate their baby girls, Amie-Lynn Rose and Jamie-Lynn Rae Finley.
“This was the first separation of conjoined twins at Cook Children's in its 105-year history. So it's obviously a big deal for us," Dr. Jose Iglesias said.
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The sisters were born in October conjoined at birth by the lower chest and the majority of the abdomen. The two also shared a liver. Medical experts from multiple fields spent 11 hours in surgery separating them.
“We're grateful for the team that planned and orchestrated and plotted every step by step by step to make sure that this was a safe and successful procedure," a spokesperson at Cook Children's said.
It was an emotional 11 hours for the parents, friends, and family. They were notified after long hours of waiting that their two baby girls had been successfully separated and were on two separate beds.
“Our hope is for them to continue to grow and develop normally as two individuals but I have a feeling there will still be some sibling rivalry," Dr. Mary Frances Lynch said.
A sibling rivalry just like any other sibling, but the bond these two girls hold will be like no other.
“Now it’s just resting and healing and after that, it’s back to normal babies. Can’t wait to hold them both," Finley said.
Doctors are optimistic as the girls heal. Their primary focus is breathing support and pain control for the next few days. Experts estimate conjoined twins occur in 1-in-200,000 live births.