Formerly Conjoined Twins Survive and Complete Their First Life Goal Despite All Odds

Abby and Erin Delaney, twin sisters, were born with a special connection: they were linked at the head. Their parents set out on a fantastic adventure to ensure their survival and to present them with the most extraordinary life possible.

Abby and Erin’s path to happiness was not without obstacles, but their unwavering drive and great bravery astounded their family and medical experts.

Heather and Riley, a newlywed couple, were ecstatic to learn they were expecting their first child just two months after their wedding.

When an ultrasound revealed that Heather was pregnant, not one, but two gorgeous bundles of joy, the couple’s pleasure was quadrupled.

Heather’s sisters were identical twins. Thus, the discovery of the twin link came as no surprise. The finding that the twins were craniopagus-conjoined, linked at the top of their heads, took them by surprise. This type of conjoined twin is scarce, accounting for only 2% of all happenings.

“When we first found out, we were in shock,” Heather recounted. We couldn’t believe this was happening to us; it felt like something out of a movie.” The couple was told that their infants had only a 2% chance of surviving and that complicated separation surgery might be required.

Although such treatment was previously conducted, their local hospital was not suited for it. If separation became possible, the physician advised selecting the famous Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Gregory Heuer noted that Abby and Erin shared a skull and its coverings and the sagittal sinus, a vital vein responsible for 20% of the heart’s output.

Heather had numerous tests to collect further information, including a high-resolution fetal ultrasound and a fetal echocardiography to evaluate the twins’ hearts.

“From the moment our daughters were born,” Heather reflected, “everyone was invested in finding the best way to care for them.” An ultrasound revealed that the twins’ umbilical cords had become intertwined during a 26-week checkup.

The hospital professionals urged Heather to stay in Philadelphia for constant monitoring because they were concerned about the scenario. Abby and Erin arrived ten weeks early than scheduled on July 24, 2016.

“The medical team had planned for various complications, including the requirement for breathing tubes.” “However, when they were born, they cried,” Heather recalled.

The twins had the first of numerous procedures to separate the conjoined part of their heads. Additional surgeries were carried out over the next five months as part of the separation procedure.

Abby and Erin were finally separated on June 6, 2017, more than ten months after their birth, in a problematic 11-hour procedure. This sophisticated and dangerous treatment was carried out by a team of committed medical specialists who worked closely together.

While the most traumatic phase was finished, the following weeks were not without challenges as the girls began their healing journey.

Erin and Abby began extensive physical and occupational therapy as soon as their health permitted. They hit a huge milestone five months later when they were finally discharged from the hospital, marking a critical turning point in their incredible journey. “Riley and I are pleased with the girls’ performance today.

“It’s been a long journey with many ups and downs, and we are eternally grateful to the staff at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as the unwavering support and encouragement from our family, friends, and community,” Heather said.

The twin girls recently obtained their kindergarten certificates with pride. The little girls are now living an everyday life after overcoming various obstacles and undergoing multiple surgeries.

While they will need further plastic and reconstructive surgery as they grow, the twins have finally found happiness.

Because of their unusual circumstances, Abby and Erin are developing slower than their contemporaries, yet they continue defying expectations.

Erin walked for the first time at age five, while Abby was taking her first steps toward learning to walk.

“We are their parents, and we see them for who they are, not for their challenges,” their mother said.

Against all obstacles, the girls not only completed kindergarten but also accomplished a stunning feat that many thought was out of reach. “We want to demonstrate that there is hope for separation and the possibility of leading healthy and happy lives,” their mother emphasized. She said, “The sky’s the limit for my girls.”

Their experience demonstrates that life is full of complex challenges that may be conquered with perseverance and optimism. Having been through every stage of this arduous journey, Erin and Abby’s parents now want to help other parents going through similar experiences.

“Our goal in sharing our story has always been to reach out to parents who are going through the same type of pregnancy we did and provide them with hope,” Heather explained.

Twins have long captured people’s imaginations, and their stories frequently elicit intrigue and emotion. Consider the remarkable mom who joyfully gave birth to twin daughters on an auspicious day of the year.