Shock: Woman learns she is expecting conjoined twins
When 36-year-old Angela Formosa discovered in the fifth week of her pregnancy that she was expecting twins, she and her husband Daniel were overjoyed. But just 11 weeks later the expectant mother from London, England, would have to make a life or death decision.
With the progression of the pregnancy, the joy over Angela's unborn twins was overshadowed by a bleak diagnosis from her doctors. During a routine ultrasound scan in the 16th week of the pregnancy, a physician found the two girls were growing together in the womb. Further investigations would later show that the unborn babies were sharing a portion of their intestines. The doctors presented Angela with a difficult choice when they suggested an abortion.
"I was asked three times if I wanted one. They said, 'We don’t know what the outcome will be. A lot of people would consider one.' But I said, 'No.' I knew it was something I’d never do," remembers Angela.
The probability of conjoined twins is 1:200,000 worldwide. Half of the babies are stillbirths and of those who do survive the birth, 35% live only for a day. There are only 500 cases in the world of conjoined twins who were successfully separated. These numbers greatly unsettled the expectant parents. Nevertheless, Angela and Daniel decided against an abortion.
On July 26, 2012, the two girls, Ruby and Rosie were delivered by C-section in the 34th week of pregnancy. But the joy over the successful birth of her two daughters was short-lived. A day after the birth, the newborns had to undergo an emergency operation. The section of intestine shared by both girls was blocked — and this condition was life-threatening for both children. During a five-hour operation involving 15 doctors working together, they finally managed to successfully separate the twins.
After Angela and Daniel had prepared themselves to return home with just one baby, or no babies at all, they could hardly believe their luck: Three weeks after the risky operation, they were able to leave the hospital with both children.
Today, Ruby and Rosie are four years old and going to the same primary school as their big sister Lily. They love crafting and paint and are fans of the Disney film character, the fairy Tinker Bell.
And even though today, they are no longer physically joined together, they are nevertheless inseparable.