Siamese twins are an extremely rare phenomenon when it comes to newborn babies. Cases where twins are born conjoined only occur once or so in every 200,000 births.
Tragically, the odds on Siamese twins surviving are very low. As many as 50% are stillborn, while only 25% will survive after having been delivered.
Erin and Abby Delany were born in the summer of 2016, conjoined in an extremely difficult position. The babies were actually attached at the top of their heads, making any separation an extremely complicated affair.
Keeping them conjoined would have, of course, made their lives more or less impossible. Unfortunately, the surgery required to detach them was fraught with risks that could have claimed one or both of them.
In the end, the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital was tasked with carrying out one of the most complicated procedures in the hospital’s history.
It took an entire team of surgeons and specialists 11 hours of precise cutting and careful work to prevent over-bleeding and further complications. However, with extreme caution and brilliance on the part of everybody involved, the girls were separated with success.
“They are such happy little girls, considering what they’ve gone through,” their mother, Heather Delaney, explained.
Five months after the surgery, the twins were to head home. There, they could start their life of normality, growing and interacting with their parents in the comfort of their own bedrooms.
According to Heather, both of the girls are developing well.
“They’re not afraid of people,” she said. “It’s amazing to see how brave they’ve been throughout it all.”
During the first period of their lives, the twins had to adapt to being joined to each other. It was impossible for one to do anything without the other being affected.
Now, Erin can sit up and Abby has learned to roll. It’s been one hell of a long journey so far, but the twins are made of stern stuff. After all, they now have a new chance at life!
Obviously, none of this would have been possible without the amazing work of the doctors in the hospital and the support of the twins’ wonderfully strong parents. Share this story to help their incredible tale inspire others!