Separation surgery successful for conjoined twins

PHILADELPHIA - November 8, 2012

The twins are now recovering in the infant intensive care unit, and for the first time in their young lives, they are in separate beds.

A team of 40 doctors, nurses and other staff worked for about 7 hours inside the operating room at Children's Hospital Wednesday to separate conjoined twins Amelia and Allison Tucker.

The twins are now 8-months-old.

It has been an emotional roller coaster for the family which includes big brother Owen.

An ultrasound at 20 weeks first revealed the babies were joined at the lower chest and abdomen. They shared a liver, diaphragm and the sac around their individual hearts.

But doctors at CHOP were optimistic. They have been planning the separation surgery almost since before the twins were born. And now that it is over and was a successful surgery, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief.

The girls' mother wrote on, "Today it is a time to celebrate, to be thankful, to appreciate, to praise, and to enjoy this weight lifted off our shoulders."

Shellie Tucker also said the "surgery went better than expected."

She thanked everyone who prayed and supported her family.

"These girls are going to do big things in life!" she said.

The twins still have a long recovery ahead of them, and they will be closely followed by developmental specialists, nutrition specialists and other experts for a while.

But the family is hoping to have them home in time for Christmas.

So far, they have spent their entire lives inside the Children's Hospital.

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