Erika and Eva Sandoval, conjoined twins, underwent a 17-hour long surgery performed by California doctors in an effort to separate them almost a week ago. On December 6th, the doctors declared the surgery a success. Since then, the 2-year-old girls have been recovering in intensive care in separate beds.
However, Monday, December 12th, the twins were reunited for the first time since the operation. According to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital health officials, the hospital staff members together with the girls’ parents carefully moved Erika in Eva’s bed.
Both the staff members, as well as the parents were touched by the reunion since the girls did not meet since their separation. Even though the twins were recovering in the same room, they could barely see one another
“It was such a thrill for us to see the girls next to one another again”, says Aida Sandoval, the twins’ mother.
Also, Dr. Meghna Patel, caring for Erika Sandoval in the intensive care unit of the hospital told the reports that both girls are recovering well, without significant complications. Prior to the operation, Eva and Erika were sharing several parts of their digestive system, as well as liver, bladder, and a third leg. After the surgery, the girls retained portions of the organs they used to share and each one has only one leg. The doctors used the third leg for skin grafts, in order to cover scars and surgical wounds. Also, the health officials say that the girls will need a prosthetic leg.
At the moment, both girls are breathing normally, without the help of machines. The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital health officials expect their recovery to go flawlessly until the 2-year-old twins will be moved out of intensive care and into acute care in a week’s time.
According to the specialists, only one in approximately 200,000 deliveries results in conjoined twins. Furthermore, in nearly 50 percent of the cases, the infants are stillborn and roughly 35 percent survive for just one day. Also, the doctors at Stanford University estimate that conjoined twins who undergo a separation procedure have a 70 percent chance of survival.
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