Elysse Mata is thanking the incredible staff at the Texas Children's Hospital after a team of almost 30 doctors successfully separated her 10-month-old daughters. Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata, who were born conjoined at the abdomen and chest, will finally have a chance at living independent lives.
Knatalye and Adeline were born on April 11, 2014, just 12 weeks after Elysse was told that she was pregnant with conjoined twins. Due to their connection at the torso, the babies shared a liver, lungs, diaphragm, colon, pelvis, and lining of the heart. Doctors knew that this surgery would require extreme precision.
The team of highly experienced surgeons, led by Dr. Darrell Cass, a pediatric surgeon and the co-director of the Texas Children's Fetal Center, trained for months before the day of the operation. Their preparations included working with radiology experts to build a 3-D model of the babies' organs, and conducting simulations of the actual separation surgery.
On February 17, 2015 they worked for 18 hours to separate the two girls, before working on each individually. Knatalye's surgery took a total of 23 hours, while Adeline's total procedure time was 26 hours.
The girls will spend their recovery period in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, though doctors are unsure how long it will be until they are released. But one thing is for sure — their mother cannot wait to take them home.
"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," she told USA Today.
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