Allison and Amelia Tucker were born conjoined at the chest and abdomen, and could not be separated at birth due to the extremely complicated surgery that it required. Or at least that is what they were told, and the twins spent half of their life attached to one another.
When parents Shelly and Greg Tucker who reside in Adams, NY were told by their obstetrician who works with high risk pregnancies that their daughters were conjoined and would not likely be separated successfully, advising that they terminate the pregnancy, they sought a second opinion. They were determined to continue the pregnancy.
“As he was telling me, I could literally feel the girls kicking in my belly and I knew that that wasn’t something possible,” Shellie said.
When the Tuckers saw another physician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – doctors said that the girls could be separated, and could have at birth.
While the family waited for the surgery, the whole family lived at Children’s Hospital, their son Owen, then 2 years old and the twins.
Doctors prepared for the surgery by practicing on two dolls sewn together.
“The actual walk-through started with actual baby dolls that didn’t really look as cute as the girls but helped us out,” pediatric surgeon Dr. Holly Hedrick said at a news conference one month after the surgery.
A team of 40 doctors, assistants and nurses performed the seven-hour grueling surgery, successfully separating Allison and Amelia – on November 7th, 2012.
‘Seeing the girls and seeing them climb and get in to things – as aggravated as I get I can’t help but laugh because they’re an absolute miracle,’ their mother Shellie told Good Morning America.
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