These formerly conjoined twins who doctors said had “zero” chance of surviving the pregnancy have finally been reunited 10 months after they were separated in a successful operation.
Brazilian twins Sara and Eloa, who formerly shared a heart valve and a liver, have finally been reunited after both turned a year old last month (September).
They spent months apart following the successful operation to separate them in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo in December last year (2020).
Eloa had needed to remain in the ICU even after her sister was discharged and able to go home to the town of Alvorada d’Oeste, some 1,330 miles away from Sao Paulo as the crow flies.
Eloa was finally transferred to a hospital closer to her home, in the town of Ouro Preto do Oeste, where the family was able to celebrate their first birthdays together in September.
After spending 12 days in the new hospital, Eloa was able to go home for the first time.
During their time apart, mum Jaqueline Naiara Camer had remained with Eloa in Sao Paulo, whereas dad Vanderson Maia had returned home with Sara.
Jaqueline told news outlet G1: “For me, it was no problem that they spent a year of their lives in hospital; the important thing is that our family was together and they were doing well.”
The homecoming was especially emotional for Jaqueline as she had not seen their eldest son Vitor since first going to Sao Paulo, and she noted how much he had grown during their time apart.
Despite experts giving the unborn babies “zero” chance of survival, Sara and Eloa confounded expectations when they were born joined by the chest and abdomen in September last year.
They were two months old when they underwent the separation procedure involving 40 health professionals that was unprecedented in Brazil at the time.
Eloa’s recovery took longer than her sister’s because she has a heart disease and also lacks the bone that protects her chest, meaning her heart beats closer to the skin.
She had a difficult recovery period and had to undergo both a tracheostomy and gastrostomy to help her to breathe and eat.
The family will now rely on the assistance of visiting health professionals, who will help the parents to guarantee the girls’ wellbeing.
The twins will reportedly require medical care for a long time. Experts believe they will be able to close Eloa’s chest to protect her heart when she turns 10 years old.
Jaqueline said: “We still have many steps to conquer, but what was impossible has already happened. The miracle has already taken place.”