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Conjoined twin girls separated at Cook Children's Medical Center

Conjoined twin girls separated at Cook Children's Medical Center
Conjoined twin girls separated at Cook Children's Medical Center 02:49

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - For the first time in Cook Children's Medical Center's 105-year history, a team of 25 medical professionals, including 6 surgeons successfully separated conjoined twins. 

JamieLynn and AmieLynn Cook Children's Medical Center

Dozens of medical experts from across multiple specialties made up the surgical team for AmieLynn Rose and JamieLynn Rae Finley of Fort Worth.

The sisters lay face-to-face and shared a liver, which was successfully separated during the 11-hour procedure on Jan. 23.

"They were joined from the lower part of the breastbone to their belly button," José L. Iglesias, M.D., Medical Director of Pediatric Surgery at Cook Children's Medical Center and the lead surgeon for the surgery explained. 

The medical team dedicated months to the planning and collaboration for the separation. They studied scans of the infants, built models of their anatomy, mapped out potential surgical solutions, prepared the operating room and rehearsed the carefully choreographed surgical procedure. 

After the surgery, the 16-week old twins returned to Cook Children's NICU to begin their journey to recovery, this time on the road together, but separate.

"They're going to grow up into the little girls they're supposed to be. Independent and feisty, as they've already shown us they are," said Iglesias.

Parents James Finley and Amanda Arciniega hold their daughters Jaime and Amy.  Cook Children's Medical Center

Parents James Finley and Amanda Arciniega of Saginaw were overjoyed to see the girls in their separate cribs, lying on their backs for the first time Monday evening. The couple, who share two other children who are also patients at the hospital talked about their journey.

"It was like walking through a haunted house. You just have to get through it," said Finley. He also reiterated what Iglesias said about JamieLynn's personality versus AmieLynn. 

"JaimeLynn is the spunky one. AmieLynn is always laid back," he said. 

Anesthesiologist Chandra Reynolds, M.D. even described how JaimeLynn slapped AmieLynn who had fallen asleep on their way into the operating room.

The girls were born prematurely on Oct. 3, 2022, at 34-weeks gestation, weighing 4 pounds, 7.8 ounces at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

Doctors are optimistic as the girls heal. They said their primary focus is breathing support and pain control for the next few days.

"We are now shifting our focus to their immediate recovery," said Dr. Mary Frances Lynch.

Looking ahead to when the girls return home, their father can't wait to hold them both separately. 

"It's gonna feel great, they're going to be a lot lighter," he said. 

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