Home Life & People Formerly Conjoined Twins Need Prayers While Recovering From 'Terrifying' Surgery

Formerly Conjoined Twins Need Prayers While Recovering From 'Terrifying' Surgery

12 min read

It is often said that children are the greatest blessings from God and every parent knows how true this is. They would go to great lengths to put a smile on their kids’ faces, or to make sure they have everything they want and need. Parents are the pillar of support and strength that children can always count on for the rest of their lives, as mothers and fathers are always ready to sacrifice everything for their children. God has given us all many blessings, but perhaps the greatest of all is the special bond we share with our families. It is no wonder that so many people believe a mother’s love is the only unconditional love on this earth, apart from the unconditional love that comes from God.

Erin and Abbey Delaney from Mooresville, North Carolina are 15-month-old twins. But they are no ordinary twin, as the two sisters were conjoined twins, meaning that they were born with joined or connected heads. Luckily, they received a surgery separating them, and the two girls have been recovering at a wonderfully impressive speed.

Still on their road to recovery after what their mother, Heather Delaney called a “terrifying separation surgery,” they can almost be brought home, Heather wrote on Sunday in a blog post.

Double The Surprise For Heather And Riley Delaney

The couple was expecting last year, thinking that they were having a baby who was due in September 2016. However, their first ultrasound, when she was about 11 weeks into her pregnancy, revealed that Heather was carrying not one, but two babies. They were having twins! But for the North Carolina couple, this was not the only surprise waiting for them. They also learned that their twins were conjoined, or in other words, connected at the head.

After learning of their unborn twins’ conditions, they traveled to the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, six hours away from their North Carolina home. On July 24, 2016, the twins were born in the Special Delivery Unit of the hospital.

A Successful Yet “terrifying” Separation Surgery

On June 6, 2017, the twins underwent a risky 11-hour separation surgery at the same hospital they were born at. This hospital has separated more conjoined twins than any other hospital in the United States. The doctors there have operated on 22 other sets of conjoined twins to separate them for the past sixty or so years. However, the separation of Erin and Abby was their first time operating on a pair of craniopagus twins, meaning twins connected at the head.

“The weeks after the girl’s separation were filled with many terrifying moments,” Heather wrote in her blog post and added that those weeks after the operation were the most intense and scary moments of her life, knowing that her girls’ lives were at risk. She said, “Feeling helpless was the new normal, and I hated it.”

Because the surgery is such a risky one, there was no guarantee that the entire process would go perfectly well without flaws. Erin and Abby even suffered from bleedings in their brain after the separation surgery and were eventually placed in an induced coma for several weeks.

But the twins were supported 24/7 by a large team at the hospital, because of which they are improving rapidly. They have spent their whole lives in the hospital they were born in to. On July 24, 2017, they even celebrated their first birthday with the hospital staff.

Jesse Taylor, a plastic, and reconstructive surgeon at the same hospital the Delaneys approached, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, shared in a statement that Erin and Abby’s case is among the earliest separation surgeries done on craniopagus twins to be ever recorded. She added, “We know that children heal better and faster the younger they are, therefore our goal for Erin and Abby was separation as soon as possible with a minimum number of surgeries.”

Going Home For The First Time

About 4 months after their separations surgery, the girls are getting better and even thriving. They are preparing, and almost ready to go back home after spending their whole lives, more than a year, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  They will have to return later for a few more plastic and reconstructive surgeries on their skulls for the next few years, doctors at the center said.

Both the girls are recovering extremely well. They are now learning how to crawl, how to sit up and play with all their toys. Their parents too are thrilled that their baby girls finally get to go home and are getting better every day after a year filled with risk and suspense.

According to their mother, Heather Delaney, one of the girls, Erin had been discharged by doctors from the hospital earlier in October. But Abby still has a little work left. “Abby still has a little way to go till she is able to be discharged. Hopefully, God willing, we will be headed home for the holidays,” Heather said with optimism.

Gratitude For All Their Blessings

The mother of the twins continued to talk about how her family would not have been so lucky if it weren’t for the many blessings God has bestowed them with. “Our family has been blessed more than we could have ever imagined. God gave us the right hospital, the right surgeons, and the right hospital staff to make sure that these little girls had the best chance,” the happy mother said.

The family is clearly thankful for all the support and blessings they have received through their difficult journey during the past year or so. Even though the twins will have to come back to the hospital for additional surgeries, we hope that everything will turn out just fine with God guiding them every step of the way.

Share this story to remind your friends that God is capable of anything and he can perform miracles in their lives!

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