Twins Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata have never been able to sit up, roll over, crawl, or develop like normal toddlers — understandable difficulties, considering the 10-month-olds have been conjoined at the abdomen since birth. But thanks to more than 30 medical professionals at Texas Children's Hospital, their lives are about to take a dramatic turn for the better! After roughly 26 hours in the operating room, doctors successfully separated the little girls, who had previously shared a liver, diaphragm, and heart lining.
It took specialists months to prepare for the surgery, using custom 3D models of the sisters' organ systems and surgery simulators to ready themselves for the actual operation. In the end, physicians from many hospital units worked together to successfully separate the twins — according to USA Today, "specialty doctors from pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, cardiovascular surgery, urology, liver transplant surgery, orthopedic surgery and pediatric gynecology assisted in the surgery." While the girls' doctors will have to perform additional surgeries in the future, the Mata twins are recovering well at the pediatric hospital.
"We are so grateful to all the surgeons and everyone who cared for our daughters and gave them the incredible chance to live separate lives," their mother said of the operation. "We know how much planning and time went into this surgery, and we are so blessed to be at a place like Texas Children's, where we have access to the surgeons and caretakers that have made this dream a reality."