Twin baby girls Anna & Hope Richards were born sharing multiple organs, but thanks to a 7-hour surgery, the sisters are now separated! Watch their emotional story.
Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston successfully separated 13-month-old conjoined twin girls last month! The babies, Anna Grace and Hope Elizabeth Richards, were joined at the chest and abdomen and even shared multiple organs — including a large blood vessel connecting their hearts. The surgery, which lasted seven hours on Jan. 13, took a team of nearly 75 surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, and nurses, but it went “very well,” according to Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, a pediatric surgeon and co-director of the Texas Children’s Fetal Center. And although this all went down a month ago, the girls are still said to be in good condition, a hospital spokeswoman said on Feb. 13. Click here to see pics of conjoined twins Miracle and Journee Brooks.
Anna and Hope’s operation was as successful as the team “could’ve planned for,” Dr. Olutoye said in a Facebook video published on the hospital’s social media page. He added that they “were blessed that this was the best-case scenario.” This was the hospital’s fourth time performing this type of surgery, and it took the team of doctors and specialists several months of planning before the big day. Born in December 2016, the girls shared a liver, diaphragm, and pericardial sac, as well as a large blood vessel connecting their hearts.
After the successful operation, both Anna and Hope are expected to lead normal lives. They do need more surgeries in the future though. “We’ve thought about and prayed for this day for almost two years,” the girls’ mother, Jill, told KHOU 11. “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.”
The twins’ parents first found out about the girls’ condition during a routine ultrasound while Jill was still pregnant with them, officials said. Hope and Anna ended up being born premature via C-section at just 35 weeks. Combined, the girls weighed 9 pounds, 12 ounces. The family should be able to head home to North Texas in about a month.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — are you amazed by the successful separation surgery? Send your positive wishes for Anna and Hope below.