Conjoined Twins Separated; Returning Home

Formerly conjoined twins Angelica and Angelina Sabuco will be returning to their home in San Jose, Calif. later this week, after a successful recovery from their separation surgery on Nov. 1, physicians at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital announced today, Nov. 14.

“Angelica and Angelina are doing great—sleeping in separate beds, eating their favorite foods, and even taking their first steps,” said mother Ginady Sabuco. “For the first time, our girls will be going home in two separate car seats. We are so grateful to the entire team at Packard Children’s. The surgeons, the nurses, the therapists and everyone on the staff—they have all been amazing.”

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“We’re very happy with their progress,” said lead surgeon Gary Hartman, MD, “Their liver function is normal, they’re no longer on pain medication, their appetites are growing; they’re almost ready to go home.”

After the 10-hour surgery, which involved nearly a year of careful planning and involvement throughout the hospital, the identical twin sisters spent 6 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Angelina was eased off of her sedation first, and then taken off a ventilator after 48 hours. Angelica followed closely behind, and was breathing on her own after 72 hours. On Nov. 7, the sisters were strong enough to graduate from intensive care to a regular hospital room, where they have been continuing their recovery.

The girls have physical therapy and occupational therapy daily to build their strength, endurance, gross- and fine-motor skills. Each sister is learning how to stand on her own without having the other sister as a counter-balance. Angelina and Angelica are also being taught to walk forward, rather than sideways.

Ginady, along with the twins’ dad Fidel, is excited to have them back at home, where a new double stroller and separate beds await—along with a whole new world of independence.

In the picture above: Angelina, Ginady, Vincent, Angelica and Fidel Sabuco at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

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Rakesh Raman