Successful 6-hour separation surgery allows formerly conjoined twins to finally go home. How they look now?

The fact that one is pregnant with twins is upsetting enough, but Sandy and Jesse Fuller were given even more difficult news: their children were conjoined at the abdomen. Sandy and Jesse Fuller, the once conjoined twins, were finally released home three months after their birth and a successful six-hour procedure to separate them. Sandy was completely taken aback when she discovered she was expecting twin girls. Later, when she and her husband discovered the twins were conjoined, they had a difficult time.

“[When] we found out they were conjoined, it was hard and difficult,” she explained, “but we trusted that God was going to work in the entire journey, so it was OK.”The twins shared liver tissues and were conjoined at the abdomen. As a result, the difficult process of separating the formerly conjoined twins began long before they were born.Sandy gave birth on March 1 to Ella Grace and Eliza Faith Fuller at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, and both infants weighed 5 pounds and 10 ounces at delivery.

Ella and Eliza were conjoined at the abdomen.

Sandy’s C-section was performed by Dr. Roopali Donepudi, a maternal-fetal medicine expert at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. Conjoined twin pregnancies are extremely rare and high-risk, according to him, therefore it’s critical that an expectant mother receives care from a highly competent maternal-fetal medical team.

“The prenatal testing and imaging that Sandy underwent at Texas Children’s Fetal Center were incredibly thorough,” he continued, “and informed not only the labor and delivery team to ensure that the mother and babies had the best birth outcome, but also allowed our neonatal and surgery colleagues to begin planning for the twins’ care while they were still in utero.”The twins spent the following three months in the neonatal critical care unit, where they were attended to by 17 medical personnel, including seven surgeons and four anesthesiologists.

The parents looking at their conjoined twins.

The enormous crew was put together for the complicated procedure that successfully split the previously conjoined twins. Dr. Alice King, the procedure’s main surgeon and a pediatric surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital, stated in a statement, “Our team began planning and preparing for this operation before these babies were even born.” From simulations of the procedure to significant collaboration with our colleagues in anesthesiology, maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology, and radiology, we’ve all been working toward one shared goal: the best outcome for Ella and Eliza.”

Ella and Eliza were separated on June 14th during a six-hour procedure. The medical team expertly managed the complex treatment, which involved pediatric and plastic surgery. Sandy and Jesse were able to hold the once conjoined twins separately for the first time three days later. “I think you can just look at them and see God’s goodness and how kind he’s been to us, because they’re true miracles since day one,” Sandy said.

Mom with one of the conjoined twins, now separated.

According to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conjoined twins occur once per 50,000 to 60,000 births. roughly 70% of conjoined twins are female, and roughly 75% of conjoined twins are linked at least partially in the thorax and share organs. If the twins have separate sets of organs, their chances of surgery and survival improve.The once conjoined twins remained in the hospital for another month to assure their recovery. They were finally released from Texas Children’s Hospital on July 11, after receiving great care since their birth.

The parents each holding the twins, who are now separated.

“It’s hard to express in words exactly how excited we are,” dad Jesse stated in a hospital video. It’s been 134 days, so the emotions are intense.”Ella’s “small flat spot” on one ear is the sole physical difference between them. “We say Ella is just sassy with a little bit of drama,” Sandy explained. Eliza is simply more relaxed and goes with the flow. But they’re both such joyful, sweet babies.” The Fullers are obviously overjoyed and grateful as they begin this new chapter of their lives after the twins were previously conjoined at the abdomen. View the video below:

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