By Rebecca Zamer/Joe Cingrana
This is the emotional moment that Jill and Michael Richards first saw their 13-month-old conjoined twins separated after a grueling seven-hour surgery.
Doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital expect Anna and Hope to live normal lives after having the surgery which required 75 medical professionals and several months of planning. The babies shared a liver, diaphragm, pericardial sac and their hearts were connected by a large blood vessel.
“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.”
The girls were born weighing a combined 9 pounds, 12 ounces at just 35-weeks-old. For the past year, Anna and Hope have been cared for at the NICU and are on the road to a speedy recovery!
“We’ve thought about and prayed for this day for almost two years,” said mom, Jill Richards. “It’s an indescribable feeling to look at our girls in two separate beds. We couldn’t be more thankful to the entire team at Texas Children’s for making this dream come true.”
Those interested in the family’s journey can follow along on their GoFundMe page.