On Wednesday, August 26, Amber McCullough, a Minnesotan, delivered conjoined twin girls, Hannah, and Olivia, via C (cesarean) section. Doctors began the surgery for separating the two girls immediately after they were born. Unfortunately, they could only save the life of one; Olivia couldn’t survive the operation.
McCullough said that she first came to know that she was carrying conjoined twins during the second trimester of her pregnancy. When she finally got the news, doctors also informed her that Olivia will not survive.
According to the doctors, Olivia’s heart was nonfunctional due to missing valves and as a result of having just one ventricle. In addition, although the two girls had separate hearts and kidneys, they shared an intestinal tract, liver, and abdomen.
After delivering the twins at the Colorado Children’s Hospital, McCullough sent a message to KARE-TV about the status of her newborns. In her message, she said that she will not reveal any more information until she gets discharged from the hospital and feels like sharing facts.
However, she wanted the world to know that Hannah although alive, is still in a critical condition. In spite of being aware of the current situation, the Minnesotan is optimistic as she has complete faith on the doctors at the hospital and believes in the power of prayer. McCullough requested Lindsay Seavert of KARE 11 to ask the public to pray for Hannah’s life.
Statistics provided by the University of Maryland Medical Center suggest that conjoined twins are delivered during around one in every 200,000 live births. That’s not all; when a woman delivers conjoined twins, there’s 40-60% chance of them being stillborn. If these numbers are to be believed, Hannah and Olivia should be considered relatively lucky.
Separations through surgery are not very common. However, it has been estimated that since 1950, 75% of time at least one of the conjoined twins survived the surgery.
This is not the first time that McCullough has become a mother. Before giving birth to Hannah and Olivia, she was already the mother of a six year old boy named Tristan. Reports suggest that Tristan was her son from a previous relationship. However, there’s no information available about Hannah and Olivia’s dad.