Erin and Abby Delaney's parents are grateful that their twin daughters are flourishing. Born as mixed twins, their condition was among the rare of the rare. Now doctors provide an update on the girls' extraordinary journey.
"They just grow and change and great little people, and I can say they really are my heroes for what they've been through," Heather Delaney told CBS News.
The sisters were born in the head, and even rarer, completely merged with their connection deep into the brain tissue. In June 2017, the linked twins were fully separated from 1
Ad – History continues under
"About 3 months we separated the bone connecting the two twins, and so we kind of slowly pushed them apart and changed the anatomy where the two were connected, and then we got to to make the separation, "Dr. Gregory Heuer from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
A new report published in the new England Journal of Medicine details how doctors used innovative technology and teamwork to perform the complex separation surgery. A computer navigation system helped them chart the connected blood vessels to be shared between the twins.
"The hardest part for these girls was that they shared some really important big blood vessels so that in order to be able to separate them and to get the brain to recover after we had done so, the separation was really the hardest part, "said Heuer.
The girls are among the youngest twins who are joined to the head to be separated.
Now 2 years, Erin and Abby are receiving physical, business and speech therapy to help their development. In the next few years, the sisters will need additional surgery to close the openings in their skulls.
"Some of the things they did have never been done before, so we didn't know how to work," said Heather Delaney. "Fortunately, everything proved incredible. We have miracle little girls to show for it."