HOUSTON, Texas (PIX11) — Conjoined twins Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata will now be able to live separate lives thanks to a group of surgeons who were able to separate them in a successful, “first-of-its-kind” surgery.
The twins, born in April 2014, underwent the successful separation surgery on Feb. 17, 2015, at Texas Children’s Hospital. It was a victory for the girls, their parents and the medical field.
“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 Elysse Mata, mother of the babies. “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. We also want to express our gratitude to all of the people that have prayed and provided support to our family over the last 10 months.”
Prior to the surgery, the girls shared a chest wall, lungs, pericardial sac (the lining of the heart), diaphragm, liver, intestines, colon and pelvis. During the complex surgery, the team of 25 people worked for approximately 23 hours on Knatalye and 26 hours on Adeline with the official separation occurring approximately 18 hours into the surgery.
“This is the first time a separation surgery for thoraco-omphalo-ischiopagus twins with this particular configuration has been successful,” said 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. “This surgery was not without its challenges with the girls sharing several organ systems. Our team has been preparing for this surgery for months and we’ve done everything from working with our radiology experts to build a 3-D model of their organs, to conducting simulations of the actual separation surgery.”
The girls will remain at Texas Children’s under the care of a team of specialists for the next few months. For more information about the twins, visit their Facebook page or their GoFundMe page to support the family.