LIFE

Miracle Identical Conjoined Twins Beat The Odds And Survive Separation

by Emerald Pellot
Emerald Pellot graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Writing & Popular Culture. She worked as Senior Editor of College Candy for 2 years, covering feminism, popular culture, and college life before joining LittleThings in 2015. Based in New York City, Emerald covers a wide range of topics from human interest pieces to celebrity news.

When Shellie Tucker was 20 weeks pregnant she got a bit of a surprise: She and her husband Greg would be having twins.

However, there was another shock that left doctors concerned.

The twins were conjoined at the chest wall, diaphragm, liver and the membrane around the heart. Fearing that the little girls would not survive separation, doctors advised Shellie to terminate the pregnancy.

According to CNN, “The overall survival rate of conjoined twins is between 5% and 25%, with about 75% of surgical separations resulting in at least one twin surviving.”

“We both agreed it wouldn’t be fair to not give them a chance,” Greg Tucker said.

Like Lauren Lawson, another mom who’d been advised to terminate her pregnancy with twins, the couple decided to carry the twins to term.

Shellie gave birth via cesarian section to Amelia and Allison Tucker. However, that was only the beginning of their journey as sisters.

See the rest of their unbelievable story below!

In 2012, when Shellie Tucker was 20 weeks pregnant she learned she was having twins — conjoined twins.

“[The doctor] said, ‘You’re having twins,’ and my heart dropped. And then she said, ‘I think they’re connected,’ and my heart dropped again,” Shellie told ABC News. “Their recommendation was to terminate.”

The doctor, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, told Shellie that her conjoined twins would not survive separation. He advised Shellie to have an abortion.

“As he was telling me, I could literally feel the girls kicking in my belly and I knew that that wasn’t something possible,” Shellie said.

Shellie decided to carry the girls, Allison and Amelia, to term. After getting a second opinion at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, it was determined that the little ones could survive separation.

When Shellie gave birth she was stunned by the girls.

“I instantly said they were gorgeous. They both held on to my fingers, came out screaming and we knew we made the right choice,” she said.

At just 9 months old, 40 doctors conducted the 7-hour surgery that would separate Amelia and Allison. It was a success.

“At the end when the surgeons said they were separate, the weight of the world was off our shoulders,” said their father, Greg Tucker.

See how the 2-year-old twin girls are doing a year after the surgery, in the video below.

Please SHARE if you’re glad Shellie listened to her mother’s instincts and decided to get a second opinion about her little ones!