Conjoined twins born hugging successfully separated in US

Conjoined twins Sarabeth and Amelia Irwin have been successfully separated 14 months after being born in Michigan, United States.


Dr Richard Ohye, lead cardiac surgeon, talks to parents Phil and Alyson Irwin on the morning of surgery. (Photo: Joe Hallisy/Michigan Medicine)

The pair were born joined at the chests to their bellies and wrapped in each others’ arms.

The 11-hour surgery took place at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital on August 5 and saw them being the first know set of conjoined twins to be successfully separated in the state.

Two teams of surgeons, one for each child, was assembled to plan the surgery and give both girl a chance at an independent life.

Director of Michigan Medicine’s Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Center, Dr Marcie Treadwell, said just 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 250,000 pregnancies involve conjoined twins, adding that few survive delivery and every fewer live long enough to be discharged and make it home.

The twins were born on June 11, 2019, defying those odds.

They weighed a healthy 9 pounds, 4.5 ounces together — more than 4 1/2 pounds apiece.

“I remember them briefly putting the girls on my chest. It was very sweet and special being able to hold them and see them for the first time,” said mom, Alyson. “It was just very surreal. There was so much adrenaline from everything that led up to that point.”