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Identical Twins Conjoined At The Torso Are Successfully Separated After 7-Hour Surgery

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.

Anna and Hope Richards were born conjoined at the torso, sharing a chest wall, a diaphragm, a liver, and heart lining. Separation would prove to be a risky operation.

After 13 months conjoined, a team of 75 specialists spent seven hours performing the complex surgery that would turn them into singletons.

“We’ve thought about and prayed for this day for almost two years,” the twins’ mom Jill Richards said, according to Inside Edition. “It’s an indescribable feeling to look at our girls in two separate beds.”

The Texas Children’s Hospital spent months planning the surgery. The girls required tissue expanders to be implanted to grow and stretch their skin so that the area would be large enough for the long incision that would separate their bodies.

Jill and her husband Michael Richards discovered she was carrying conjoined twins during an ultrasound. Anna and Hope were born via C-section on December 29, 2016, after multiple tests and consultations to prepare for a safe birth.

“Through simulations and countless planning meetings, we were able to prepare for situations that could arise during the separation,” said chief surgeon Dr. Larry Hollier. “We are thrilled with the outcome and look forward to continuing to care for Anna and Hope as they recover.”

The parents are focused on caring for their babies, who seem to have a bright future ahead of them.

“The success of this incredibly complex surgery was the result of our dedicated team members’ hard work throughout the last year,” Dr. Hollier said.

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Photo: Inside Edition / Texas Children’s Hospital

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