On July 24, 2016, Erin and Abby Delaney were born. As twins, their birth was always going to come with complications, however this was intensified by the fact that the two sisters were conjoined at their skulls. The tiny tots were delivered by caesarean 10 weeks early, but despite that, the miracle pair were strong and doing well.
The Delaney twins flourished in their development, despite spending their whole infant lives in hospital. Their strength and health prompted surgeons to schedule a separation surgery shortly before their first birthday. The 11-hour surgery was set to be complicated and laden with risks, but the Delaney girls rose to the occasion.
On June 7, the girls were treated to an early birthday present when surgeons took them into the operating room at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Before the Delaney twins, the hospital had performed 23 separation surgeries, but with each one being different it was difficult to predict what would happen to Erin and Abby. Especially considering that twins conjoined by their heads are the rarest form.
The surgery took 11 hours and required 30 healthcare professionals to be present. Each baby was hooked up to separate equipment which was marked with different colors to ensure there was no confusion.
After the successful operation, the girls were placed into an induced coma for a few weeks. Erin’s coma was lifted first and her mother, Heather Delaney, was able to hold her daughter for the first time. Then a week after surgery the girls both went back to the operating room in order to “wash out of their heads” to prevent any infection.
There were a few scares during their recovery process, but amazingly both sisters survived their intense operation and gruelling recovery, which included a stint in rehab where the girls regained their strength.
However, whilst in rehab the girls both fell sick a few times as their bodies adjusted to being exposed to other humans and the world in general. Up until this point, they were only familiar with lying in a hospital bed, void of any human contact.
Despite the setbacks and complications, good news was on the horizon. After 465 days in the hospital, Erin was discharged…