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After undergoing separation surgery in February, two formerly conjoined twin babies have been reunited with their family for the first time after the second twin was released on Monday.
Adeline Faith, the second twin to be discharged, joins her sister, Knatalye Hope, who was discharged May 8.
“We are so pleased with the progress of both Adeline and Knatalye following their first-of-its-kind separation surgery earlier this year,” Dr. Darrell Cass, pediatric surgeon, co-director of Texas Children's Fetal Center and associate professor of surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine, said in a news release. “They will both require additional therapies as they continue to grow, but we’re thrilled with their outcomes and are optimistic they will continue to do very well.”
Adeline and Knatalye Mata were born April 11, 2014, weighing 3 ounces, 7 pounds each, and at 31 weeks gestation via Caesarean section, according to the news release. They spent the first 10 months of their lives in the neonatal intensive care unit at Texas Children’s, and in December 2014, they underwent a five-hour surgery wherein doctors set custom-made tissue expanders into their chest and abdomen regions. The operation helped prepare them for their upcoming separation surgery in February, during which a team of more than 26 clinicians separated the girls— who had shared a chest wall, lungs, heart lining, diaphragm, liver, intestines, colon and pelvis.
Doctors worked on Knatalye for 23 hours, and on Adeline for 26 hours. After their surgeries, the Mata twins underwent other procedures including the removal of rods from their pelvises and the placement of gastrostomy buttons. Adeline also underwent a tracheostomy surgery in April to improve her breathing and lung development.
At home, she will continue to use a ventilator to further aid her breathing. The twins will also continue to undergo physical and occupational therapy, according to the news release.
The twins’ parents, Elysse and John Eric Mata, and older brother, 5-year-old Azariah, plan to remain in Houston for the time being to attend the twins’ follow-up appointments before heading back to their hometown of Lubbock.
“The past year has been such a whirlwind for our family and we are so thankful we can finally have both girls home with us,” Elysse said in the news release. “In addition to the great care our girls received, the thoughts, prayers and outpouring of love from the community really helped get us through the last year and we are grateful for everyone’s continued support.”