At the top of our 10:00 pm newscast tonight we led with the story of the intense surgery taking place in Philadelphia to separate conjoined twins Amelia and Allison Tucker. We wondered aloud how the surgery went. We hoped it had gone smoothly. Just minutes after we aired the story we got word from the hospital that the seven hour surgery went well.
The eight month olds were in intensive care. A team of 40 medical professionals had succeeded. Amelia and Allison's lives had changed forever. For the first time they no longer shared a liver, pericardium, chest wall and diaphragm. Each was now living on her own.
I couldn't help but smile when I shared the news with our viewers. Many of them had spent the day hoping and praying that all would go well for the girls, their parents and their extended community who was praying for them back home in Adams, Jefferson County.
This is the 20th separation surgery for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. They tell us conjoined twins occur in one of about 60,000 births. They are more likely to be girls. Most are stillborn.
That makes this odds beating news even better tonight. Of course, Amelia and Allison still have a long recovery ahead. They've spent their entire eight months in the hospital. Much of the time was spent being prepared to make this surgery go well.
Doctors said tonight they are expected to lead healthy and independent lives.
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