“Hope and Faith go hand in hand because without Hope there is no Faith.”
That saying was inscribed on T-shirts worn by the family and friends of 10-month-old conjoined twins named Knatalyne Hope and Adeline Faith Mata, who doctors say will survive surgery that has now separated them.
A team of more than 26 doctors and nurses at the Texas Children’s Hospital last week worked for about 26 hours to separate the girls, who shared a chest wall, lungs, heart lining and other organs.
“This is the first time a separation surgery for … twins with this particular configuration has been successful,” lead surgeon Dr. Darrell Cass said in a statement. “This surgery was not without its challenges with the girls sharing several organ systems.”
The Mata girls were delivered via Caesarean-section in April 2014 in Texas, weighing about 3 pounds, 7 ounces each. They underwent several surgeries in preparation for last week’s final separation, the most recent last December, when custom-made tissue expanders were placed into their chest and abdomen area.
Cass said the girls are in stable, but critical condition following their surgery and are on ventilators for the next week.
Doctors expect they will be in intensive care for at least two months and will require more surgeries.
"We are so grateful to all of the surgeons and everyone who cared for our daughters and gave them the incredible chance to live separate lives," said the girls’ mother, Elysse Mata. "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.”