The twins, Jamie Lynn and Amie Lynn, were joined from the lower chest to their belly button.
FORT WORTH, Texas - A team of doctors successfully performed Cook Children's Medical Center's first-ever conjoined twin separation surgery.
"It was a scary journey because we didn't know what was going to happen," said father James Finley. Three months into their pregnancy Finley and Amanda Arciniega learned their twin girls were conjoined. The twins, Jamie Lynn and Amie Lynn, were joined from the lower chest to their belly button and shared a liver.
"One of the questions they asked when I saw them at three months pregnancy is ‘Do we need to go somewhere else?’ And that to me was a very important question," said Dr. Ben Gbulie, a plastic surgeon at Cook Children's. The hospital's answer to that question: no. The family's emotional journey to separate their babies was detailed in a large scale news conference at the hospital complete with a video.
FULL VIDEO: Conjoined twins separated at Cook Children's Medical Center
Watch the story of Jamie Lynn and Amie Lynn and the amazing surgery to separate them. (Video courtesy: Cook Children's Medical Center)
"On the ride home we were just quiet. We were like thank you, but out of everybody we were like, why us?" said Arciniega through tears. The work to assemble a world-class team began. The complexity of what they faced was all documented, from months of planning to the day and minutes before surgery.
"We had to work to find the ideal time timing for when to do this. They were born at 34 weeks, they were a little early ,so we had to grow them and get them a little bit bigger. We got to a point where their positioning was a real challenge," said neonatologist Dr. Chad Barber.
In the operating room there were two full medical teams, one for each baby girl. It took five hours in the OR just to prep before the procedure began, it lasted hours and ended successfully. The parents broke down in tears upon hearing the surgery was a success.
By Dionne Anglin Published January 25, 2023. Fort Worth. FOX 4