Not all conjoined twins are separated given the risks inherent with surgery. Abby and Brittany Hensel were born conjoined with a very low chance they would make it through infancy, but they are doing well despite the fact they are still conjoined.
But little girls Allison June and Amelia Lee Tucker were in a different situation and separation was possible in their case. They’re lucky to be here in the first place — because their doctor suggested to their mother that she consider an abortion and that separation was not likely to be successful. These girls proved that OBGYN wrong.
As ABC News reports:
“I’m like, you have no idea,” Tucker told ABC News.
That’s because Allison June and Amelia Lee Tucker, now happy and healthy sisters who share crackers and push each other around in a stroller, spent half of their young lives as one, conjoined at the chest and abdomen.
Tucker and her husband, Greg, of Adams, N.Y., were told in November 2011, when Shellie was five-months pregnant, that their daughters were conjoined. An obstetrician who handles high-risk pregnancies told the couple, already parents to a son, Owen, that the girls would likely not be separated successfully and advised them to terminate the pregnancy.
“As he was telling me, I could literally feel the girls kicking in my belly and I knew that that wasn’t something possible,” Tucker said.
The Tuckers sought a second opinion at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where doctors determined the girls could be separated.
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Shellie Tucker continued her pregnancy and gave birth to Allison and Amelia in March 2011.
For the next eight months, the entire family, including then 2-year-old Owen, lived in Children’s Hospital with the twins.
Doctors prepared for the surgery by practicing on two dolls sewn together.
“The actual walk-through started with actual baby dolls that didn’t really look as cute as the girls but helped us out,” pediatric surgeon Dr. Holly Hedrick said at a news conference one month after the surgery.