Conjoined twin girls Miracle and Testimony Ayeni, of Nigeria, have been separated just days before their first birthday.
The girls who turned one on November 16, were separated earlier this month after an excruciating 18 hours on the operating table.
The twins arrived in the United States back in June, along with their parents, older sister, and pastor. The family wasn’t able to find a facility in Nigeria that could carry out the procedure, but fortunately, after months of research, they were referred to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
The hospital took on the operation free of charge, and even offered to fly the family to the United States for the procedure.
Miracle and Testimony were conjoined at the pelvic bone and shared portions of the small and large intestines. According to doctors, the challenges that came with separating the girls also meant separating those organs.
In the case of identical twins, the mother releases one egg that is fertilized and then splits, separating the twins into their own amniotic sacs. However, in the case of conjoined twins, the split does not happen in its entirety and the fetuses are left sharing an amniotic sac among other things, like vital organs.
Miracle and Testimony are now in recovery and are expected to return home to Nigeria in the coming months.
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[Featured Image: Lisa W. Buser/ Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital via AP]