The lead surgeons who played a crucial role in successfully separating 3-month-old conjoined twins after an 11-hour operation at a Texas hospital are now discussing the extraordinary accomplishment. Sisters Aimelynn and Jamielynn have now taken a significant step towards being able to return home. Last year, James Finley and Amanda Arciniega were shocked to discover that they were expecting twins.
“She was like ‘oh, there’s the baby’s head’ and I was like, ‘if that’s the baby’s head, I was like, what’s that?’ She said ‘that’s the other baby’s head.’ And I was like what,” Finley remembered. At the same appointment, the couple also found out that their daughters were conjoined. “On the ride home, we were quiet.
And it was kind of sad,” Arciniega said. “And we were thinking, why us?” Aimelynn and Jamielynn are omphalopagus twins, meaning they are joined at the abdomen and share a liver.
Before the babies were born, the family began working closely with a team of specialists at Cook Children’s Medical Center to plan for their safe delivery and eventual separation. “Every conjoined has a unique anatomy. They’re all different,” said Dr. Jose Iglesias, the medical director of pediatric surgery at Cook Children’s Hospital.
“They’re gonna give you some surprises here and there. And their personalities, one’s a little feisty one and another one’s much more reserved.”
More than 50 doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists came together to help safely separate the babies. While one baby’s surgical procedure went smoothly, the other’s wound has not yet closed. However, doctors said that both will recover. Nearly 12 hours after surgery, Aimelynn and Jamielynn were rolled out of the operating room and are now in their own beds.
The joyful moment was shared by both the family and the doctors. These young girls have spent their entire lives inside a hospital, but now the family is hoping that will change very soon. Doctors also said they will be monitoring these girls well into their teenage years.
Source: ABC 7 Chicago