Formerly conjoined twin girls back at home months after 11-hour surgery in North Texas

AmieLynn Finley is now home with her sister, JamieLynn

Two formerly conjoined twins who went through an 11-hour procedure to separate them are finally home.

On Wednesday, the Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth said AmieLynn Finley is now home with her sister, JamieLynn.

JamieLynn went home on March 21, but AmieLynn had to stay at the Cook Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a longer recovery, the hospital said in a story posted on its website.

Doctors said AmieLynn’s recovery “has been more difficult” as she had to “recover from a recent surgery to improve her chest incision and create more space for her heart, diaphragm and lungs.”

AmieLynn left the hospital on Friday.

“This is kind of the beginning again,” their father James Finley said. “Surgery was one beginning and now we’re going home to another beginning.”

Mother Amanda Arciniega said, “It’s definitely a weight lifted. I’m excited and happy, it’s a lot of emotions. We still have a long way to go.”

Formerly-conjoined twin AmieLynn Finley and JamieLynn are finally home together. (Cook Children's)

The hospital said the girls will still have to go through rehabilitation.

They were 4 months old when they had separation surgery in January, becoming the first conjoined twins to be separated at the hospital.

They were omphalopagus twins, as they were joined at the abdomen and shared a liver. They each have their own heart and heart sac.

Despite their concerns, Arciniega had an uncomplicated pregnancy but gave birth early when their doctor noticed they had a slow growth rate.

AmieLynn and JamieLynn. (©Aggie Sparkle Brooks, Cook Children's)

They were born by C-section on Oct. 3 at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. They both weighed 4 pounds, 7.8 ounces.

“It wasn’t an easy delivery, but we made it look easy,” Dr. Bannie Tabor said.

The hospital stated that they are truly special — conjoined twins occur in only about 1-in-200,000 live births.

After a month at Texas Health Fort Worth, they were transferred to the NICU at Cook Children’s.

AmieLynn and JamieLynn. (©Aggie Sparkle Brooks, Cook Children's)

The hospital said that doctors set a sooner-than-later surgery date because they were not growing at the same rate.

They were separated at 16 weeks old.

The hospital said it took months of planning, researching, preparing and rehearsing for the surgery. At least 100 medical experts were involved in their care and surgery.

“I think the teamwork is a great point to bring up because it’s everything,” Dr. Jose Iglesias, Cook Children’s medical director of pediatric surgery, said. “It takes a huge team to get all of this working as smoothly as you can make it, given the unknowns that we’ll have. Having everybody open and honest talking to each other regardless of their position, that’s the definition of teamwork.”

AmieLynn and JamieLynn. (©Aggie Sparkle Brooks, Cook Children's)
Day of AmieLynn and JamieLynn's surgery. (©Aggie Sparkle Brooks, Cook Children's)

About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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