Conjoined Twins Separated in 11 hr Surgery

Doctors at the University of Michigan separated one-year-old conjoined twin sisters – born hugging each other – just 14 months after they were born. 

Sarabeth and Amelia Irwin of Petersburg, Michigan, each had their own arms and legs and heart, but their livers were connected, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital said Friday. The nearly 11-hour surgery to separate the identical twins was performed in August, about 14 months after their birth. They’re now at home.

Alyson said that the pregnancy felt different from the one she had had with their now-three-year-old daughter, Kennedy, so she assumed they were having a boy – and even prepared for it by buying baby boy items. It came as a shock when the ultrasound revealed conjoined twins. 

‘It kind of felt like the worst news you could receive, you know?’ Alyson told the  Detroit Free Press. ‘Especially because the statistics are not good.’ She added that her prenatal team had ‘had never seen anything like that before. So they said their hearts were breaking for us … but there wasn’t anything they could do.’

The twins are pictured as they checked into Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital on August 5, before their surgery was performed that day
One-year-old conjoined twins Sarabeth and Amelia are pictured with their parents, Alyson and Phil Irwin, following their August surgery separating the two children

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