MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Conjoined twins from Mooresville, once conjoined at the head, are beating the odds that were stacked up against them from day one.
Erin and Abby Delaney were living drastically different lives two and a half years ago.
“They were just lying in a hospital bed all day long,” their mother, Heather Delaney, told Channel 9. “They couldn't sit up, they couldn't see the world.”
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Their parents learned what they were up against at their 11-week ultrasound.
“They shared the sagittal sinus which does 20 percent of your cardiac output -- the outflow from your brain from your heart,” Heather said.
But there was hope.
A specialized team of surgeons in Philadelphia believed the babies could be separated, but the path forward was risky.
“We think that we can separate them, but there is a chance that we could lose one, or we could lose both of them,” Heather said.
The Delaneys wanted more for their baby girls.
“It was kind of one of those things that we thought, ‘We don’t have a choice because it’s not fair to make them live that kind of life,'” Heather said.
The complex and intricate surgery took 11 hours.
Abby fought to survive in the operating room.
“She actually lost 15 times her entire blood volume,” Heather said.
The babies left the hospital 185 days after they were born, and they are still breaking barriers two and a half years later.
“They're exceeding all expectations,” Heather said.
Erin is crawling, which was a major milestone, and Abby recently learned to sit up.
They each have their own little personality, like other twins.
“Erin's my little loud one that follows me around the house now, and Abby is our people person,” Heather said. “She loves to be held and played with.”
The girls spend four days a week in therapy, and their future still holds a lot of unknowns.
One thing is certain.
“Just like their shirts say, these girls can do anything,” Heather said.
The Delaney twins, who are focused on learning to eat without a tube, will continue to be monitored by specialists.
Doctors will perform another surgery in a few years to cover the openings in their skulls with synthetic implants.
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