Conjoined Twins Will Be Separated In Risky Surgical Procedure: Keeping Hope And Faith Alive

Conjoined twins born in the Lone Star State earlier this year will be separated in a risky surgical procedure that could leave one twin, or both twins, dead. Despite the risk involved, doctors at Texas Children's Hospital said the conjoined twins have an excellent chance at survival. The adorable little girls were born at Houston's Texas Children's Pavilion for Women at 31 weeks gestation. They entered the world on April 11, 2014 sharing their liver, a single diaphragm, the pericardial sac (the lining of their hearts) and even their intestines. Doctors believe the tiny tots may also share lung tissue.

Elysse and John Mata are the concerned parents of the conjoined twins. They gave their little girls beautiful names befitting their precarious position, Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith. Their parents gave the girls their names for a reason, explained Yahoo!. The names are symbolic of the symbiotic relationship between their special babies and between hope and faith.

"You can't have hope without faith and you can't have faith without hope, and if one baby would have gone, the other would too. And that was a big fear. And so right away I knew you have hope and faith."
Co-director of Texas Children's Fetal Center Dr. Darrell L. Cass explained that the process of separating conjoined twins begins with the insertion of tissue expanders beneath the skin. The tissue expanders encourage extra skin to grow; that skin will be necessary to cover the surgical wounds after the separation. Once the girls are six to eight months old, the surgery will take place under the expertise of two surgical teams dedicated to the babies' survival.

Chief of Neonatology at Texas Children's Hospital Dr. Stephen Welty explained why the surgery won't take place right away.

"The best thing to do is to do the safest thing, which is grow them up, get them bigger, more healthy with great nutrition and great developmental care and then separate them in a time which is as safe as possible."
Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith weigh approximately 10 pounds, 4 ounces each. The conjoined twins currently reside in the level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where their needs are met by a team of specialists, reported NBC.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, conjoined dolphins washed up on a beach in Turkey earlier this summer. The tail end of the dolphin appeared to be almost normal, but the head end was a different story. The carcass discovered by a vacationing teacher had two heads. Scientists estimated that the two-headed dolphin was still a calf not more than one year old.

[Image via First Coast News]