James Finley and Amanda Arciniega were surprised when doctors told them that they were going to have twins. But then they got to know that their daughters were conjoined.
“On the ride home, we were quiet. And you know, it was kind of sad,” Arciniega said. “And we were thinking, why us?”
The twins, AmieLynn Rose and JamieLynn Rae Finley, were born at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital on October 3. As omphalopagus twins, they were joined at the abdomen and shared a liver. Before their birth, their parents Finley and Arciniega worked with a team of specialists at Cook Children’s Medical Center to ensure that their birth was safe. The parents and the team also made plans on how to separate them after they were born.
Over 50 doctors, anesthesiologists and nurses have so far helped separate the babies after an 11-hour surgery, ABC7 News reported. Their separation comes three months after their birth. The babies are doing well, doctors at Cook Children’s Medical Center said. The separation is a surgical first for the Fort Worth, Texas, pediatric hospital.
“This is a historic, amazing day,” Wini King, senior vice president and chief of communications, diversity, equity and inclusion for the Cook Children’s Health Care System, said on Wednesday.
“We are very happy with their progress at this point,” Dr. José Iglesias, the lead surgeon on the case, said. “We are focusing on their healing. They obviously have risks for several things but we’re keeping an eye on those.”
The incidence of conjoined twins is one per 50,000 to 200,000 births, according to NIH. Typically, 25% of live births live long enough to be separated, the NIH added.