Doctors have successfully separated 10-month-old conjoined twins Erin and Abby Delaney in an 11-hour surgery that required more than two dozen doctors and medical professionals to meet the children’s sensitive needs.
The successful surgery left mom Heather Delaney, a faithful Christian who has been sharing the family’s story on a blog titled, “Our Journey With Conjoined Twins,” calling her babies “miracles.”
“God apparently has incredible plans for these little girls since he got them through so much,” she wrote in a June 13 post. “They are a real-life miracle and I am so blessed to be their mom.”
The babies were joined at the top of their head — a condition known as craniopagus that is the rarest issue faced by conjoined twins. Until the harrowing surgery last week at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Erin and Abby had never been able to look at one another due to the positioning of their bodies, Inside Edition reported.
While the hospital has separated 22 sets of conjoined twins over the past six decades, doctors there had never before worked on a case involving children conjoined at the top of the head, with the Philadelphia Inquirer noting that medical professionals spent months planning every detail of the intricate procedure.
The surgery included more than 30 nurses, doctors and other medical professionals, and involved separating shared blood vessels as well as a large vein known as the sagittal sinus that takes blood from one’s brain to the heart.
Then, the teams separated and each focused on the individual babies’ needs.
The initial procedure was a success, though the twins might still need another surgery before they head home, as doctors continue to measure their progress and ensure their health following the remarkable separation procedure.
“Separating conjoined twins is a very complex surgery followed by a long and complicated recovery,” surgeon Jesse Taylor, who led the operation alongside neurosurgeon Gregory Heuer, said in a statement. “But we are very hopeful for a positive outcome.”
Heather and dad Riley Delaney are looking forward to finally taking Erin and Abby home, as the babies have never seen the family’s home in North Carolina.
“It’s going to be a big party,” Heather said of the planned homecoming. “Welcome home, baby shower, first birthday.”
Heather Delaney noted in a blog post published on Tuesday, though, that the babies aren’t entirely out of the woods yet and will need prayer moving forward.
“The girls are by no means out of the woods. They are still critical but they are taking steps towards being back to normal everyday,” she wrote. “The weaning process will be a long one and we ask for prayers.”
According to the couple’s website, they are “both 100 percent in love with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and believe that he is working everything out in our lives, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
And it appears they’ve handled this situation through that lens after finding out about the babies’ condition at just 11 weeks gestation.
A GoFundMe account is currently raising funds to help with the massive expenses the couple has faced over the past year.