In August, Amber McCullough gave birth to conjoined twin girls, but tragically one died in surgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Now the mother has shared a picture of the surviving twin, Hannah, on her Facebook page. ABC News reports that immediate surgery was necessary on the conjoined twins because the severity of their heart condition. A hospital official said, “A multidisciplinary team performed a 5-hour separation procedure. As expected, Olivia passed away.”
As LifeNews previously reported, the twins shared an abdomen, liver and intestinal tract but had separate hearts and kidneys. The girls, Hannah and Olivia, were born at 32-weeks; however, prior to their birth, Amber was told she should have an abortion. Although Olivia did not survive the surgery, McCullough does not regret her decision to choose life.
On her GoFund Me page, she wrote, “I believe in the Word and I believe in the power of prayer. Prayer, the power in the Word, and the amazing talent of the medical professionals here is a recipe for life in Hannah’s case. I believe all those things have taken us this far which is a very long ways already with all things considered.”
The University of Maryland Medical Center says that conjoined twins occur once out of every 200,000 births, but McCullough’s case is particularly rare because she is an identical twin herself. The Christian Post reported that Hannah survived the surgery but is in “critical but stable” condition in the neonatal intensive-care unit. Currently, medical teams are providing Hannah care for pulmonary hypertension, jaundice and premature lungs that hinder her breathing. Additionally, they have her on a special ventilator, a medical drip and she is taking in nutrition through a feeding tube.
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McCullough explained, “The last week has been enormously painful, terrifying, and all the while filled with love. Hannah continues to be critical but stable. She lost her whole blood volume three times over during the surgery. The doctors were able to replace it very quickly and I remain confident in their talent as medical professionals and the power of prayer.”
Doctors told McCullough that Olivia had an extremely low chance of survival because her heart had only one ventricle and she had a congenital brain malformation. She told a TV station that she wishes both of her daughters could survive but that surgery after birth was the best option for a preferable outcome. She said, “If I had my way, I’d keep them both together if they both could live. But it’s not possible. I wish it were. If they stay together, they’ll both pass.”
On Monday, Amber said Hannah was having an uneventful day, which was good because she had been through some tough days since the separation surgery. She also thanked Children’s Hospital in Colorado for helping Hannah. She said, “Without Children’s Hospital of CO neither of my daughters would have had a chance. They didn’t put me off or turn me away contingent on guarantee of payment like most places do. Instead, they told me to just get here and we’d figure it out from there.”