A conjoined twin who was separated from her sister after a seven-hour operation has finally been allowed home after spending almost a-year-and-a-half in hospital.
Anna Grace Richards was attached to sister Hope Elizabeth at the chest and abdomen when they were born at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston in December 2016.
A team of 75 doctors successfully separated them in January and, after a 428-day stay at the hospital, Anna Grace was discharged.
Her family including, father Michael and older brothers Collin and Seth said they were hopeful that Hope Elizabeth who remained in hospital, would be discharged in the near future.
Their mother, Jill Richards, discovered she was carrying conjoined children during a routine ultrasound and later gave birth to the pair via Caesarean-section at 35 weeks.
Weighing a combined 9lbs 12 oz, Anna and Hope shared a chest wall, diaphragm and liver.
Complicating matters further, the sisters shared the same pericardial sac – the lining of the heart – and a large blood vessel connecting their hearts.
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“The success of this incredibly complex surgery was the result of our dedicated team members’ hard work throughout the last year,” said Dr Larry Hollier, surgeon-in-chief and chief of plastic surgery at Texas Children’s.
“Through simulations and countless planning meetings, we were able to prepare for situations that could arise during the separation.
“We are thrilled with the outcome and look forward to continuing to care for Anna and Hope as they recover.”