They weren’t expected to live to see their first birthday
They weren’t expected to live to see their first birthday.
But twin girls Ballenie and Bellanie Camacho defied all odds to not only make it, but to do it independently.
Merely two weeks after undergoing a groundbreaking, 22-hour separation surgery, the formerly conjoined twins turned one year old at the hospital where the operation occurred.
Staff decorated the girls’ room with pink and blue posters, bought them a birthday cake each, dressed them up in tutus and brandished birthday crowns.
The rare and complex surgery, performed last month in upstate New York, was one of the riskiest ever done.
Surgeons had to separate the girls’ gastrointestinal tracts, bladders, reproductive areas, and lower portion of the spinal cord, with a 23 percent chance of death.
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Formerly conjoined twins Ballenie and Bellanie Camacho (with their parents Laurilin and Marino) celebrate their first birthday separated at the hospital where surgery was performed
Ballenie (left) and Bellanie, from the Dominican Republic, were born joined at the hip, known as pygopagus.Surgeons were able to separate them in a complex 22-hour procedure
Dr Whitney McBride, co-lead surgeon of the separation procedure, visits the twins during their birthday celebration. Dr McBride helped separate the girls’ gastrointestinal connections and divided the hypogastric artery branch, enabling proper blood flow to the their legs
Laurilin and Marino are seen visiting their daughters after surgery.The girls have since graduated from the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit to its inpatient floor
Since the surgery Ballenie and Bellanie, nicknamed las maripositas (the little butterflies) by their parents, zápal trojklanného nervu prejavy have been recovering well at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York.
They graduated from the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit to its inpatient floor just a few days after the surgery.
Doctors say should their recovery continue as smoothly as it has, the girls will soon be back home to join their sisters Lina Bel, two, and Sheily, 10.
Ballenie and Bellanie were born in Moca, Dominican Republic, on February 4 of last year via C-section.
Their parents, Marino Abel Camacho and Laurilin Celadilla Marte, knew they were expecting twins but didn’t know the babies were conjoined until after they were born.
Not long afterwards, the smaller of the twins, Ballenie, was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition. Doctors warned her parents that she might die.
Over the summer, Laurilin and Marino brought the girls to Maria Fareri where the family began preparing for a procedure to separate the twins.
The separation surgery was the most significant in a series of procedures for Ballenie and Bellanie performed at the hospital.
Earlier procedures, which included gastrointestinal and reconstructive surgery work, helped prepare the girls for their unique separation surgery.
Once a feasibility conversation was had among the various surgeons that they would be able to separate the girls, doctors began to prepare for the complex surgery.
The medical teams performed multiple practice sessions using 3-D models of the little girls’ lower body constructed from CAT scans and MRIs.