Formerly conjoined twins Allison June and Amelia Lee Tucker made their debut Thursday at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), according to the hospital.
The girls, who were born joined at the lower chest and abdomen, were separated Nov. 7 in a surgery that took seven hours and involved 40 hospital staff members. They formerly shared their chest wall, diaphragm, pericardium and liver.
Up until a few days ago, the 10-month-old twins had spent their entire lives at the hospital – Allison has been discharged, but Amelia will have to stay until after the New Year, according to CHOP.
The twins were born March 1 via cesarean section and spent the first seven weeks in CHOP’s newborn /infant intensive care unit.
The girls’ mother, Shellie Tucker, and her husband, Greg, said they were grateful for the support and encouragement the hospital gave them.
“Greg and I are thrilled that our daughters have been given this remarkable gift by the amazing team from (CHOP),” said Shellie Tucker, who is from Adams, N.Y., in a press release.
The Tuckers, who also have a son, Owen, found out Shellie was pregnant with conjoined twins around her 20th week of pregnancy, and were quickly referred to CHOP’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. After a round of tests, doctors determined the girls would be great candidates for separation surgery.
“Both Allison and Amelia are doing well, and we expect them both to enjoy full, healthy and independent lives,” said Dr. Holly L. Hedrick, the pediatric general, thoracic and fetal surgeon who led the surgery.
Doctors will continue to monitor the girls as they grow.
Allison and Amelia’s surgery was the 21st time the hospital has separated conjoined twins.