Conjoined Twins Abby and Erin Delaney: A Year in the Life


♪♪>>I think of me being their mom, I look at
them and I see two separate babies. Yes, they’re conjoined, but to me there’s times
where when one of them will be crying and the other one’s completely fast asleep, and
the one that’s crying I like have to remind myself, you can’t just pick her up. I think it’s just because we’re their parents,
and we just see them for who they are and not what’s wrong with them.>>As a parent, it doesn’t matter what the
issue with them or what they do or what they look like, you are going to love that child
no matter what.>>Kids are connected by the head;
they can be connected in a couple of different ways. One is by, if they’re connected at the front
or the back; one is if they’re connected and they just share skin, which is really, really
rare, we almost never see that. But in this case, what they share is bone
and then the coverings of the brain, the dura. So in these kids, it looks like they just
share the skull and the coverings, but they also share this important vein that goes down
the middle called the sagittal sinus, which is where about 20 percent of your cardiac
output goes through.>>It’s a very extensive team of people;
this is the kind of thing that we get together beforehand and we practice
so that the day of surgery, everybody has a very well-defined role; everybody knows
what their role is. So it’s like a choreographed dance movement. So it’s multiple surgeries over several months. Really young babies are at their most
regenerative the earlier on they are in life. So that’s what really, I think, is driving
us to do this sooner than later.>>This is scary surgery and we’re
scared, but we can’t let this sort … the fear limit our ability
to operate either. We have to, you know, do the operation that
needs to be done; and that’s part of surgery, that’s part of medicine. I wouldn’t ever think that your surgery team
or your surgeon or your doctor isn’t frightened. In fact, I want my doctor to be frightened
for my daughter when he sees her or she sees her. I want her to be scared and thinking about
every bad thing that can happen to try to stop it. But be knowledgeable enough to stop it too. The first time we met the Delaney family was
before the twins were even born. They got referred to CHOP
because we have a fetal center. We’ve met with the family to discuss what
surgeries these twins might need. This is life-threatening operation. I told them that the twins can die from this
or we could lose one twin and not the other. We really felt strongly that, although there’s
risks, although they can both pass away from this that it’s worth the risks to try to do
it safely so that we can give them the best life that we can.>>When the girls were born, they
were 2 pounds, 1 ounce a piece. So they were able to fit in my shirt and do
skin to skin with them. So they’ve grown a lot. Now we need two people to take them in and
out of bed and two people to hold them at a time, and they require a little bit more
arm strength. I’ve never had that chance to, you know, hold
my baby in front of me and look at them and study them. I have to look at both of them and they’re
usually pretty far away from me. And so, just to have that contact with them
and be able to do it whenever I want to, with with no wires attached will be great. ♪♪ The girls are starting to want
to see the world. They want to you know, look at
what they’re hearing. They wanna see people walking back-and-forth. So once they’re separated, for them to sit
up and see everything, being able to look whichever way they wanna look, regardless
of what their sister is doing, I think will be amazing.>>You’re here for a reason,
it’s totally true, you’re part of a world that is counting on you. But life works together, the good and the
bad, the silly and awful and happy and sad. Remember that next time a day goes all wrong,
to somebody else, you will always be strong. ♪♪>>Do good. You’re big, you’re brave,
you’re strong, right? ♪♪>>Conjoined twin separation
is clearly a team sport. You need all the specialists that play a role,
sort of like setting up an orchestra, right? You want everything to play together, which
requires tremendous experience, tremendous technical expertise. And a crucial ingredient
in my mind, is passion for excellence that permeates all areas of the Children’s
Hospital of Philadelphia. ♪♪>>At some points, you’re really
optimistic, really excited. And then other times, it’s nerve wracking,
we don’t know which way it’s going to turn, don’t know what decisions
are going to have to be made. So when they started, they went in through
one side and they separated a lot of the little blood vessels that they share. They ended up finding that they did share
a little bit of brain tissue, and they did separate it. Thankfully, the brains didn’t have
any swelling; it was very minor. They separated from one side up to the sagittal
sinus, and they since then have now flipped them and just started to go from the other
side to the sagittal sinus; and the sagittal sinus is kind of the end goal … a lot of
anticipation. ♪♪>>That was hard. Everything went well until we got to the sinus
and Abby did not like that sinus being taken, so she bled and she … her brain swelled,
so it was really close to losing her. I’m worried about her brain swelling, so I think they’re
both going to be sick for a few days at least. I might even keep them asleep and basically
in a medically induced coma. But they’re separated, they’re safe, the anesthesia
team was just heroic. ♪♪>>It’s scary to see, these kids that
frankly we’ve become very emotionally attached to, teetering on the brink. And they came out OK, and then
that’s pretty incredible again. I think it’s a real testament;
everybody sticking in there. It was a lengthy operation and lots of ups
and down, emotionally and physically both for us and for all the team members and for
the girls themselves. ♪♪>>And that makes a story, it’s really
not bad, but it still could be better, supposed I had. Was there nothing to look at, no people to
greet, did not nothing excite you or make your heart beat? Nothing I said, growing red as a beet, but
a plain horse and wagon on Mulberry Street. ♪♪>>The past two months from surgery have been
a rollercoaster, to say the least. They’re such happy, content little girls for
what they’ve gone through. They’ve never lived outside hospital walls
and they’re still happy; they’re not afraid of people. It’s just amazing to see that
they’re so brave through all of this. Say I love you daddy. The girls’ journey is far from over. And it
feels a lot of times like we’re about to go home, we’re almost done, but I have to
keep reminding myself we still have a lot of obstacles to overcome. The biggest thing is right now they don’t
have any skull on the top of their heads. So, we will have to come back to
CHOP and get some reconstruction done. CHOP was one of the only places that gave
us hope for our girls. When we first found out about them, we really
didn’t know what to expect, but in coming here, it’s been a family. That really is a place where miracles happen.

100 thoughts on “Conjoined Twins Abby and Erin Delaney: A Year in the Life

  1. I am SO glad that they were superseded without either of them being dangerously harmed and I’m glad the girls are doing ok now and days. Much love to the twins and the family and much gratitude and respect to the doctors! 💖💖

  2. No matter what your child 👶 looks like you must still love your child 👶 I am so happy for you I still think the children are so cute ! 😁☺️😁☺️😁

  3. I not joking I have so much love for youse and I literally crying 😭😭😭🤧there is so much love for your girls hope everyone loves them more than anything in the world just like them parents do😘💕💞💖💗💓❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  4. "He was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without Pope's pretensions, Caesar without the legions of Caesar: without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a palace, without a fixed revenue; if ever any man had the right to say that he ruled by the right divine, it was Mohammed, for he had all the power without its instruments and without its supports."

    Bosworth Smith, MOHAMMAD AND MOHAMMADANISM, London, 1874, p. 92.

  5. I've seen so many successful stories different conditons that they have done in america. So lucky to have that kind of incredible doctors and hospitals. If only we have that kind of facility here in philippines, my baby boy would still be here with me 😢. Happy to see successful stories like this..❤

  6. Dear C.H.O.P.,
    Thank you for putting a cast one my arm after it was 2 weeks broken. Einstein didn't put a cast on for some reoson.

  7. I know no one will like this comment because the name of the channel but whoever likes this comment is making my day 😀😇bless not just them but every one watching that is going threw something hard 😇😇🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

  8. I can't imagine how they must have been bunched up in the womb. Praying for nothing but blessings for those sweet little angels

  9. What a wonderful, amazing journey! Thank you to these doctors for your hard work in giving these girls their freedom to live normal lives! I want an update!

  10. Random, but does anyone happen to know what song is playing starting at 5:37? Thank you!

    By the way, absolutely beautiful video. I teared up because I’m honestly incredibly happy that everything worked out for this beautiful family. The doctors, nurses, and everyone involved in helping this family were truly incredible, showing the good that does exist within this world. 💙

  11. A Blessing! My Prayers Go Out To The Amazing Mother Who Gave Birth To 2 Fantastic And Sweet Babies! My Sister, May God Bless You With The Gift Of Love And Joy This Christmas And This New Year! You Did A FANTASTIC JOB! God Bless!!!

  12. OMG in the beginning I was like

    Holy crap they not gonna live like that

    And then in the end I was like

    OMG praise that family live long people.

    Also is it ironic at 9:17 or what

  13. I don't see them as mistakes or anything, but what I first thought about is how their life would be when they got older. I mean, how they walk? It just saddened me, so I am very glad they could get surgery. I was also so very nervous for the girls and their parents!

  14. I was a police officer and I am now a doctor, the hardest thing to do was to say that a baby didnt make it. Even when i was a police officer it was hard to say to family members that sombody had died.. But I am glad that they both survived.

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