Chilean conjoined twin dies after surgery, sister clings to life

maria paz, maria jose, conjoined twins, chile
In this image Jessica Navarrete, right, and Roberto Paredes, parents of conjoined twins Maria Paz and Maria Jose Paredes Navarrete kiss them before a separation surgery in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011. Maria Jose died Sunday from organ failure, doctors from Luis Calvo Mackenna hospital announced.

(CBS/AP) One of the conjoined twin girls who were successfully separated last week in Chile died Sunday and her sister remains in serious condition, the girls' hospital announced.

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Conjoined twins Maria Jose Paredes Navarrete and her sister, Maria Paz, were separated from the thorax, abdomen, and pelvis in 20-hour procedure at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital in Santiago last Tuesday, CBS Newsreported. Maria Jose ran into cardiac problems that required her to be revived three times before she died of organ failure. Her twin, Maria Paz, remains clinging to life, said hospital director Osvaldo Artaza.

Maria Jose had suffered "a flaw in the right side of the heart as a consequence of pulmonary hypertension that afflicted her since her birth," according to a hospital statement.

The statement said Maria Paz was in a stable condition, with her kidneys starting to function.

Chileans have closely followed the girls' story, with updates on their condition making national headlines.

Artaza said the surgery affected all of the deceased girl's organs, while "recognizing the delicate state of Maria Paz, we are hopeful."

"We are conscious that we made every effort," Artaza said. "It's a moment of deep pain, of deep grieving."

The twins had spent their entire lives under hospital care since they were born in the town of Loncoche, about 470 miles (760 kilometers) south of the capital of Santiago.

They underwent seven surgeries before the separation procedure, in which 25 surgeons and anesthesiologists participated.

About 35 percent of conjoined twins survive for only one day, while the overall survival rate runs between 5 and 25 percent, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.