“Watching them graduate, it was like we were dreaming,” said Abby and Erin Delaney’s mom
Conjoined twins Abby and Erin Delaney once had just a 2% chance of surviving. Now, the sisters are both kindergarten graduates.
Abby and Erin were born at 30 weeks on July 24, 2016, according to SWNS. Mother Heather Delaney, 33, learned that she was carrying “craniopagus twins” when she was about 11 weeks pregnant.
The twins shared a skull, skin and a vessel known as the “superior sagittal sinus,” which transports blood away from the brain.
In June 2017, the twins underwent the 11-hour separation procedure at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Abby and Erin reached another major milestone earlier this month, by graduating from their local kindergarten, per SWNS.
“Watching them graduate, it was like we were dreaming,” Heather said.
Heather and her husband Ryley Delaney, 30, were concerned when they learned that their twins were conjoined at the head early in the pregnancy, according to SWNS.
“When we first found out we went into shock first, we had no idea what to think,” Heather recalled. “It’s something you only see on TV, I thought this doesn’t actually happen to people.”
The parents also learned that their daughters, who were given a 2% chance of survival, could be candidates for a rare separation surgery after birth. It had been done before, but not at their local hospital.
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After their arrival, he twins — who weighed about 6 lbs. at birth— stayed at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Children’s Hospital until their surgery on June 6, 2017. All Heather and her husband could do during the time was “keep praying really hard.”
About 48 hours after the surgery, Heather said she “was finally able to take a breath.” Her daughters were discharged five months later.
Both Abby and Erin, who turn 7 in July, are developing at a slower pace than other children due to their condition. Erin has been walking since age 5, and Abby is beginning to learn how to walk, as well.
The sisters attend special classes at their mainstream school, and their mother says both daughters are doing well.
Now, her daughters have accomplished a goal many weren’t sure they’d reach — graduating kindergarten.
At the ceremony, Erin received a “dolphin award” for her “adventurous heart,” while Abby got a “deer award” for being a “gracious friend who treats all people in a gentle and kind way.”
“It has always been our goal in sharing our story to try and reach any other parents faced with the same type of pregnancy we were — to give them hope,” Heather said.
“We want to show there is the possibility they can be separated and then lead healthy and happy lives,” she added.
As for her girls, she added, “the sky is the limit for them.”
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