March 31, 2009

Formerly conjoined twins ‘sail through’

Two conjoined sisters separated 10 weeks ago are thriving, doctors at The Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City said.

So far the girls have exceeded expectations, said pediatric surgeon Dr. David Tuggle. They have really sailed through dramatically well.

Five-month-old Kylee Hope and Preslee Faith Wells, of Calumet, Okla., were separated Jan. 19 after being born connected at the heart lining, liver and abdomen, The Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City reported Tuesday.

Additional surgery will be needed to rebuild the girls' chest walls because their shared rib cage wasn't large enough to sustain both girls, Tuggle said.

Both girls are off ventilators but occasionally need additional oxygen and they are learning to eat by mouth instead of being feed intravenously or through a feeding tube. The girls' mother, Stevie Stewart, told The Oklahoman the babies are active and like sitting in infant swings and looking at each other.

It's amazing to see how much they've changed, she said to the newspaper. I don't know where those five months went.