Angela Formosa never thought she would see her twins, Rosie and Ruby, make it to their first day of school. Before they were born, the south-east London twins were conjoined, and doctors gave them just a 20 percent chance of survival, the BBC reports.
Because their mother gave them a chance at life, the now 4-year-old twins are preparing for their first day of school.
“Four years ago it wasn’t in my mind that this would ever happen,” Angela told the BBC. “When I was pregnant I didn’t think I’d ever see their first day at school so it is really amazing and all thanks to Gosh [Great Ormond Street Hospital] really.”
The girls shared part of their intestine and were joined at the stomach; an intestinal blockage was threatening the newborns’ lives when they were born six weeks prematurely in 2012, according to the report. The twins were separated in an emergency surgery just a few hours after they were born, and both are now thriving young girls.
Formosa described her daughters as “bubbly,” “determined” and “headstrong” – traits she said she began noticing before they were born. They fought to survive both in and outside of the womb, and now they are ready for their first day of school.
“They are very excited [about starting school]; their big sister is in school so they can’t wait,” their mother said. “They’ve met their teacher a few times and they love their teacher. They’re looking forward to painting, anything messy, they love reading.
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The report does not mention whether Angela was encouraged to abort her twin daughters, but families often are pressured to consider abortion when their unborn babies are diagnosed with any of a number of health conditions, ranging from potentially fatal disorders to minor defects. A recent government report from the UK revealed that the number of abortions on babies with cleft palates, an easily fixable condition, have tripled in the past five years.
In 2015, a Colorado mom named Amber McCullough also chose life for her conjoined twins, even though the babies’ father was pressuring her to have an abortion and became abusive when she refused, LifeNews reported. Her twins reportedly shared an abdomen, liver and intestinal tract but had separate hearts and kidneys.
The determined mother refused to treat her daughters differently because of their condition and gave them both a chance at life. Tragically, one of her daughters died not long after the separation surgery.
“I have not and refuse to give up on my girls. I have been in a postion [sic] where I have had much pressure to abort at times and I refuse. Instead, I choose to embrace their life while they are here and fight like crazy to do all I can for my daughters,” McCullough wrote.