It’s rare to have twins, but it’s even more rare to have conjoined twins. In fact, it’s said that this type of birth occurs once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births. That’s why, when Sandy and Jesse Fuller were told that their babies would be born conjoined, they were shocked.
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Still, they trusted that everything would work out in the end. Plus, they had a wonderful team of medical professionals who were ready to do whatever it would take to help these baby girls. In fact, because conjoined twins are so rare, a whole team prepared three months in advance of Sandy giving birth. This 17-person team included seven surgeons and four anesthesiologists.
“Our team began planning and preparing for this operation before these babies were even born,” Dr. Alice King, lead surgeon on the operation and a pediatric surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital, said. “From conducting simulations of the procedure, to collaborating extensively with our colleagues in anesthesiology, maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology and radiology, we have all been working together to achieve one common goal: the best outcome for Ella and Eliza.”
“[When] we found out they were conjoined, it was hard and difficult, but we trusted that God was going to work in the entire journey, so it was OK,” Sandy said.
Ella and Eliza were born connected at the abdomen, but they also shared liver tissues. Their birth took place in March, but they weren’t able to have surgery until June. In the meantime, they were taken care of in the NICU.
When the day of their surgery arrived, it was both nerve-wracking and relieving. Thankfully, the preparations the doctors took paid off and, in six hours, these sweet girls were separated!
“It’s hard to explain in words exactly how excited we are,” Jesse Fuller said. “It’s been 134 days, so the feelings are overwhelming.”
Three days after surgery, Mom and Dad were finally able to gold their daughters separately. This unbelievably precious moment was captured on camera, and the joy they’re feeling truly comes through.
“It was an overwhelming feeling – excitement,” Sandy said. “It was an emotion of gratitude, more so, because I was just so grateful that I could finally hold my baby on her back.”
Sandy and Jesse aren’t the only ones thrilled to have the twins home. Their eldest daughter, Emi, is very much overjoyed to have “her babies” living under the same roof as her.
“I know it’s going to be another chaotic moment once we get home, but we’re excited about that chaotic moment,” Jesse said. “I’m kind of bracing myself because I know it’s going to be a wild house pretty soon, but I’m excited.”
Watch the heartwarming moment Sandy held one of the twins separately in the video below.
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