These Twins Were Born With Their Heads Joined Together. This Is What They Look Like After Surgery! –
Connect with us


These Twins Were Born With Their Heads Joined Together. This Is What They Look Like After Surgery!

Most conjoined twins live a difficult life because they are joined at their chest, abdomen, or pelvis. Now imagine how much more difficult it is when the kids are joined at the head. That’s the condition that Liz and Mel were born in.

When their mother, Camila Vieira, found out she was pregnant, she went to get a scan done and discovered she was going to have twins. Camila and her husband were excited about the news and began preparing for their twins’ arrival. When the pregnancy was 10 weeks old, she went for another scan to check the condition of her babies and find out their gender. That was when she received the shocking news – her babies were conjoined at the skull, and they had a low risk of survival due to the condition.

The young mother was devastated but remained optimistic that everything would turn out fine. On the 1st of June 2018, the babies were born at a hospital in Brazil’s Northwestern Federal District. At birth, they were conjoined at the skull, just as the scan had shown. Their 26-year-old mother was not surprised, but despite having prior knowledge of their condition, she couldn’t help but worry. She wondered if she had done something during the pregnancy that contributed to her daughters’ condition.

She was also bothered about how uncomfortable her twins were and how difficult it would be to take care of them. Her worries were alleviated by the nurses around. They explained to her that it was a natural occurrence, and she had done nothing wrong. Her babies had come out very healthy, so they told her that the surgery could be carried out to separate them because they were healthy. They couldn’t do it immediately after birth because they were too fragile to handle the complications that might come with the surgery.

The medical term used to describe the twins’ condition is known as craniophagus. Craniophagus is a condition in which the conjoined twins are joined at the cranium. It is a rarity among conjoined twins, estimated to occur in one in 2.5 million births. Most conjoined twins are joined by the chest or stomach, but Liz and Mel’s case was unique.

Nobody has control over the separation of an embryo, so it cannot be prevented. But after birth, if the chances of the twins’ survival are high, the condition can be corrected by separating them. Camila, having been told that the babies could undergo surgery, took them home with the hope that they would soon be strong enough to undergo the procedure.

The days before the surgery were a struggle for both the parents and the kids. Camila and her husband had to work extra hard to get the twins comfortable. It was not easy to feed them, clean them up, and also do the other things that were required. The young couple hardly got any sleep during that period. Being babies, they had to be tended to regularly, but most times, they had to be tended to at the same time. If one of the twins woke up while the other was still asleep, the incessant cries of the one would awaken the other. Camila and her husband would find themselves trying to console them at once.

For the kids, one of them might want to play while the other was sleepy. They had to learn early on to compromise – the one who was sleepy would have to try to sleep while the other had to move gently or keep still while playing. And this was, of course, impossible. Camila said, “It’s like the girls were being pulled at two different sides at the same time, and each end had a mind of its own. Both sides wanted to do different things, but they were forced to just survive and do things against their will – no freedom, and they weren’t allowed to properly develop into their personalities.”

The parents waited patiently for their separation surgery, although they were skeptical because of the success rate. The survival rate of separated conjoined twins is between 5 and 25 percent, so the odds truly weren’t in their favor. When the twins were 10 months old, the doctors cleared them for surgery, so they started making preparations to operate on the twins.

On the 27th of April 2019, the surgery was carried out on the twins. The procedure was led by Dr. James Goodrich, and about 50 other medical professionals were involved. The highly complex surgery was carried out at the Hospital da Criança de Brasília José de Alencar, a children’s hospital in Brazil. It was reportedly the first of its kind in the federal district, the third in Brazil, and the tenth in the world. The surgery was done through the SUS Unified System, a publicly funded healthcare system in Brazil. The surgery included about 36 stages that lasted for 20 long hours.

It was a highly complex surgery that required meticulous methods. For Camila and her husband, all 1200 minutes of those 20 hours were a combination of worries and fear. It was an intense period for them, and they constantly asked for updates from the nurses. Then, after waiting for 20 hours, the good news came – Liz and Mel had been separated successfully, and they were both in good condition.

The parents couldn’t be happier and hurried over to the ward they were placed in. When they saw their kids on separate beds, they couldn’t help but shed a tear of relief. The doctors were also glad because several complications had come up during the course of the surgery, but they were able to correct them. Due to the sensitivity of the operation, Liz and Mel had to go to the hospital for about six months after the surgery for regular checkups. In the six months, they were completely discharged, and the parents were told that the twins could now live separate lives without complications.

One year after the surgery, Liz and Mel were already quite comfortable living their separate lives. Only the scars from the surgery were the signs showing they had once been conjoined. Camila was overly grateful for the success of the surgery and how well they were developing after it. “Six months after the operation, we were still going to the hospital often, but they were discharged in practically every checkup. Thank God, Liz and Mel are developing super well for their age,” Camila said.

A year later, the mom expressed how emotional she felt seeing them thrive individually. “It’s funny that now it’s been one year since the surgery when I didn’t cry about it at the time, I’m crying about it now today. When I stop to think about everything, I cry from emotion and joy. It’s really rewarding seeing them. It’s seeing the miracle God does in our lives because I read so many stories on the internet about children who suffered the same condition, and that only made me more worried. It was a very delicate situation, and that’s why, for me, my girls are a miracle.”

It isn’t easy for a mother to see her children struggle to be comfortable. Camila stated that the happiest thing for her was to see her children free to do what they please. The twins are now able to carry out activities such as swimming and playing individually. They also portray different characters. According to their mom, Mel was more smiley and joyful and could also be grumpy, while Liz was affectionate and loving but sometimes a bit more closed up. They’re opposites but at the same time have ended up being very similar in some characteristics. Everything depends on the day and their mood.

“I feel blessed and lucky to watch them grow, and they make me so happy. I can never thank the doctors and the entire medical team enough. The 10 months we had to wait before the surgery, there was a clear idea of what their life would have been if they weren’t allowed to have surgery,” their mother said.

The twins were lucky to have access to a system that helped separate them, and even luckier that their surgery was successful. Conjoined twins have a very low survival rate – most of these pregnancies result in miscarriages and stillbirths. Only 18 percent of all conjoined infants survive; approximately 35 percent of them die within the first 24 hours, and only 18 percent of all conjoined twins survive longer than 24 hours. For a condition that has such low survival rates, you can’t help but agree with Camila that her twins are indeed a miracle.

Click to comment

Drop Your Comments