MOTHER OF SET OF CONJOINED TWINS HAS HER DREAM OF TWO YEARS COME TRUE. MOTHER OF SET OF CONJOINED TWINS HAS HER DREAM OF TWO YEARS COME TRUE.
From birth, they were conjoined at the torso, 2 years later,Mom’s dream comes true after a 7-hour surgery. When Jill Richards, a mother of... MOTHER OF SET OF CONJOINED TWINS HAS HER DREAM OF TWO YEARS COME TRUE.

From birth, they were conjoined at the torso, 2 years later,Mom’s dream comes true after a 7-hour surgery.

When Jill Richards, a mother of two boys, learned that she was pregnant with conjoined twins, she and her family moved to Houston for Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, a pediatric surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital, to treat her twins.

“First question parents ask is what will be the outcome for my children,” Dr. Olutoye told KHOU11. “And are they going to be separable?”

Fortunately, the surgeons at the hospital discovered that the twins could lead separate lives.

After Richards gave birth to Anna Grace and Hope Elizabeth on Dec. 29, 2016, via C-section, a team of specialists at the hospital looked after them at the neonatal intensive care unit while preparing for the separation surgery.

The team took a year to plan the surgery for the twins, who were conjoined at their chest and abdomen. They were sharing a diaphragm, liver, and part of their heart.

“We prepared all plans, A, B, C, D just simulating all the things that could possibly go wrong,” Dr. Olutoye said.

On Jan. 13, Texas Children’s Hospital successfully performed its fourth conjoined twins separation, giving identical twin girls Anna and Hope a chance at a normal life. The seven-hour procedure was performed by a multidisciplinary team of nearly 75 surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists and nurses from eight specialties.

“This is not a one man show, not even a five man show,” Dr. Olutoye said. “You need more than a football team to do this.”

“They have two separate hearts, but they were fused with a bridging vein,” Dr. Olutoye explained.

When Richards and her husband, Michael, heard the news, they were in tears.

“You obviously hold your breath until that final moment,” Dr. Olutoye said.

Dr. Olutoye added that when the surgery was completed, “there were cheers in the operating room and high fives.”

“We’ve thought about and prayed for this day for almost two years,” Richards later said. “It’s an indescribable feeling to look at our girls in two separate beds. We couldn’t be more thankful to the entire team at Texas Children’s for making this dream come true.”

And in early March, one of the twins, Anna, was discharged after 428 days, per a statement from the hospital.

This time last year, Texas Children’s finalized the purchase of two iconic Texas Medical Center buildings near Texas Children’s Hospital – the Baylor Clinic Building and the O’Quinn Medical Tower. The additional space will give the hospital the ability to better serve more children, women and families who need the unique and comprehensive services of Texas Children’s.

Obinna Onyia

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