February 23, 2015
Texas Children's Hospital: 10-Month-Old Conjoined Twins Undergo 26-Hour Successful Separation Surgery

Texas Children's Hospital finally performed the operation to separate 10-month-old conjoined twins on February 17, 2015.

Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata were born joined at the torso and have lived their first 10 months alive as close as sisters can be. However, they recently gained their freedom when surgeons at Texas Children's Hospital took on the task of separating them... a job that took a grueling 26 hours.

Elysse Mata found out that she was expecting conjoined twin girls on January 13, 2014 when she was 19 weeks pregnant. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the doctors explained to Elysse and her husband Eric that their daughters were joined at the chest, abdomen, pelvis and pericardial sac (the lining of the heart). With further testing, the doctors determined that the girls also shared a diaphragm and liver and gave the girls a 20 percent chance of survival. Knowing the struggle that was ahead, Elysse decided to give the girls meaningful names and chose Faith and Hope.

Twelve weeks later, on April 11 at only 31 weeks, Elysse gave birth to her daughters. Despite their extreme circumstances, the girls continued to grow and thrive. They underwent their first surgery in preparation for their separation in December where the doctors placed tissue expanders in the areas where the girls were joined to grow new skin and tissue.

"This surgery was not without its challenges with the girls sharing several organ systems," pediatric surgeon and co-director of Texas Children's Fetal Center Dr. Darrell Cass explained, according to USA Today. Our team has been preparing for this surgery for months, and we've done everything from working with our radiology experts to build a 3-D model of their organs, to conducting simulations of the actual separation surgery."

Last week, Hope and Faith finally underwent the surgery that would change their lives forever. It took 13 doctors nearly 18 hours to perform the separation. However, it took 26 hours overall to care for the two girls.

"We are so grateful to all the surgeons and everyone who cared for our daughters and gave them the incredible chance to live separate lives," Elysse said. "We know how much planning and time went into this surgery, and we are so blessed to be at a place like Texas Children's, where we have access to the surgeons and caretakers that have made this dream a reality."

Hope and Faith have many more surgeries in their future, but for the first time they are able to live as separate individuals. As for Elysse, she explained that she was just excited to get them home, according to ABC13.

"I want them to have a shot at having a normal life. I'm looking forward of just going home and dressing them in tutus and bows and pink and purple and ribbon and I'm just excited."
[Photo via Facebook/Elysse Mata]