One-Year-Old Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated In 11-Hour Surgery

Conjoined twins Sarabeth and Amelia Irwin have been successfully separated after a near-11-hour operation. The one-year-olds had their own arms, legs and heart, but their livers were connected. Parents Alyson and Phil were told their twins were conjoined four months before Alyson gave birth via cesarean section, and knew there was a risk the girls wouldn’t survive long enough to have the operation. ‘For everyone in the room, it was a very emotional and extraordinary moment when the last incision was made to separate these girls from one to two,’ said Dr George Mychaliska, who led the surgical team at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan. ‘I’m a father of twins and know twins are very close. ‘Sarabeth and Amelia will always share a really unique bond, and I think the future is bright for both of them.’ The surgery was performed on the girls when they were 14 months old.

Alyson told the Detroit Free Press: ‘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.’ The surgery was originally planned for February but had to be pushed back when the twins developed pneumonia – and then the coronavirus pandemic began. This meant Alyson and Phil, who are also parents to the twins’ older sister Kennedy, had to wait in their car during the lengthy surgery. Phil said: ‘This has been a giant experiment in the power of positive and the power of prayer. ‘You know, so positive news, people need that. People live on that.’ The twins are now at home, with Sarabeth having been able to leave the hospital at the end of August and Amelia following on 5 September.