It’s a sad fact that a huge percentage of conjoined twins die shortly after being born, but advancements in modern medicine are helping the survival rate to rise. Here are 5 tales of conjoined twins that have been successfully separated and gone on to live their own individual lives.
1. Yurelia and Fiorella Rocha-Arias were separated back in 2007. The girls were 2-years-old at the time and were joined together via the sternum.
The pair were separated by surgeons at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, which is located at Stanford University.
The image below shows the way in which the twins were joined together. It was an incredibly difficult case as the two girls’ hearts were conjoined, as well as parts of their livers. The operation lasted a whopping 12 hours, with 24 different doctors being involved in the surgery.
Fortunately, the operation was successful. These two girls may struggle with heart issues in later life, but they’re glad to be separated and are both living happy, healthy lives.
The image below shows them in 2014. As you can see, they’ve grown up and are now in 5th grade. It’s nice to see that even though they’re no longer conjoined, they still like to stay connected by holding hands.
2. Rital and Ritag Gaboura had the misfortune of being born conjoined at the head.
The skulls of these two girls were conjoined, meaning that they would never even be able to do the simplest things like stand up or walk around. In cases like this, the vast majority of conjoined twins die within a short amount of time. In fact, the survival rate is about 1 in 10 million.
Fortunately, skilled doctors working at the famous Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, worked round-the-clock to perform a successful separation.
It was one of the most complex cases of conjoined twins the world had ever seen. Fortunately, the girls’ brains were totally separate; they were only connected via their skulls. The model below was used by surgeons to prepare for the operation.
The image below shows the girls shortly after their separation. It was a long operation, but the surgeons did a fantastic job.
We don’t have any photos of the girls now that they’re older, but we know that they’ve recovered well since the surgery and are doing fine. In the months after their operation, they both had to wear special helmets to help them recover.
3. When Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf were born, doctors estimated that they had a 98% chance of dying within a few days.
The twins were conjoined in the stomach region and a 14-hour operation was required to successfully separate them. The boys’ mother was terrified of losing them, but luckily the surgery went off without a hitch.
The image below shows the twins a couple of years after the operation. Sadly, they’ll both have to live with just one leg, but at least they’re now able to live their own individual lives.
In addition, the pair have both been given prosthetic legs to help them walk around without the need for wheelchairs.
The boys are doing well at school and their mother, Angela, revealed, “I have to watch them because they’re taking off, I never thought I’d say that, that I have to keep up with them.”
4. Emily and Caitlin Copeland were joined together at the chest.
This case occurred back in 1996. The girls’ mother, Crystal, discovered that she was going to be giving birth to conjoined twins. Fortunately, as the girls only shared one organ, the liver, doctors were able to propose separation surgery.
The surgery took place at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, which is located in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Kevin Lally was in charge of the surgery. Here’s a photo of him with the girls on the cover of H magazine.
And here’s another image of the girls and Dr. Lally. They’re all grown up now and recently graduated from high school.
5. Trevor and Timothy Bainomugisha, born in 2011, were conjoined at the chest.
These two twins were born in Uganda and shared a liver.
The operation to separate them was a particularly complex one, involving the input of multiple surgeons from various hospitals. Fortunately, in the end, it all went well and the photo below shows one of the boys shortly after the operation.
Want to see how they’re looking now? Check out the image below!
It’s fascinating to see how far we’ve come. In the past, it’s a sad truth that none of these twins would have lived very long. Fortunately, medicine has advanced to the point where conjoined twins can be separated. Be sure to SHARE this article on social media!