This week, conjoined twins were successfully separated at Kentucky’s Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville.
The stories of conjoined twins are so intriguing but why? Maybe it’s because they defy our ideas of what’s possible. And when the twins are successfully separated, if that’s what parents want, it seems miraculous to see what was once one body existing as two.
Modern medicine can pull some real miracles.
Here are 5 other success stories, of the amazing process.
1) Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata
Back in February of this year, Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata were separated by doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital, when they were just 10 months old.
The twins were born on April 11, 2014 and were joined at the chest and abdomen, causing them to share several major organs including the liver, lungs, colon, intestines, pelvis and the lining of the heart.
A tricky operation proved successful after 26 hours of surgery.
Watch how it all happened here.
2) Angelica and Angelina Sabuco
Angelica and Angelina Sabuco, were also born conjoined at the chest and abdomen. These twins were 2-year-olds when they underwent separation surgery on Nov. 1, 2011 at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California, in an operation that took 10 hours to complete.
The procedure involved, among other things, dividing the twins’ fused livers-a particularly difficult thing to do without complication, as about one quarter of the body’s entire blood supply passes through the liver each minute.
3) Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf
These two boys were also born joined at the abdomen, and were separated at about 3 months old by surgeons at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.
According to reports when the twins were born in December of 2010, Hassan had his arm around Hussein.
The separation surgery took 14 hours and drew on the skills of 20 medical staff, including four surgeons, and four anaesthetists, who worked in shifts.
Each boy has their own heart, but their organs-liver, gut, bladder and pelvis-needed to be separated.
They now have one leg each, and are living well.
4) Rital and Ritaj Gaboura
When these two baby girls were separated, it was hailed as the most successful operation of its kind, ever. Why so?
Rital and Ritaj were born conjoined at the head, a condition that only 1 in 10 million survive.
The two girls were lucky in a sense as they had their own brain tissue, but their skulls were joined into one, making them share vital arteries and nerves. The connection was making Ritaj experience strain on her heart before the procedure was done, as her body was supplying half of her sister’s brain with blood, draining most of it back to her own heart and doing most of the pumping work for both babies.
It took an amazing whopping total of four complex procedures at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London to complete the separation, which was funded by the charity Facing the World.
Siblings joined at the head – known as craniopagus twins – are extremely rare and make up just five per cent of conjoined twins.
5) Clarence and Carl Aguirre
Born April 21, 2002 in Silay City, Philippines, Clarence and Carl were also conjoined at the top of the head. Their mother Arlene brought them to the U.S in 2003 hoping that the boys could be operated on.
In a series of surgeries similar to Rital and Ritaj’s, the boys were finally separated at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx on August 4th, 2004, and when last reported on, now live in Scarsdale, New York with their mother.