Conjoined Twins Given 1 Percent Chance of Surviving Doing Great After Separation Surgery

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 2, 2016   |   11:15AM   |   Bern, Switzerland

A set of conjoined twins beat the odds and became the youngest babies to survive a separation surgery in December, according to a hospital in Switzerland.

Conjoined twins Lydia and Maya were born eight weeks premature on Dec. 2, 2015, along with their triplet sister. Just eight days later, Swiss pediatric surgeons successfully separated the twins at the Bern University Hospital, according to a press release from the hospital.

Doctors said Lydia and Maya are doing well in the pediatric intensive care unit.

The surgery was extremely risky. The girls had just a 1 percent chance of survival, according to Cosmopolitan. Initially, doctors said they were going to wait several months before trying the surgery, but they were forced to take action after the twins developed a life-threatening condition.

Doctors said Lydia and Maya were conjoined at the liver, and one was suffering from too much blood and high blood pressure and the other from not enough.


It took a team of 13 medical staff and five hours to separate the 4-pound twins on Dec. 10, according to the report. After the surgery, both twins each had an additional operation to close their abdominal walls, the report states.

“The perfect teamwork of physicians and nursing personnel from various disciplines were the key to success here,” said Head of the Department of Pediatric Surgery Steffen Berger. “We are very happy that the children and parents are faring so well now.”

Local news reports say the girls have put on weight and are breastfeeding. Their mother and triplet sister reportedly are doing well also.

Lydia and Maya are alive today because a dedicated team of doctors put effort into saving their lives. Some babies’ lives, however, are not treated with the same value. Abortion is often suggested for unborn babies who have physical defects such as cleft pallets or clubbed feet or conjoined as twins — even though modern medical advancements are making it possible for more babies with these conditions to survive and thrive.

Amber McCullough, a Minnesota mom who was pregnant with conjoined twins last year, refused to abort them, despite pressure from the babies’ father.

“I have not and refuse to give up on my girls. I have been in a position where I have had much pressure to abort at times and I refuse,” McCullough said. “Instead, I choose to embrace their life while they are here and fight like crazy to do all I can for my daughters.”