Their daughters were born sharing a chest wall, lungs, pericardial sac (the lining of the heart), diaphram, liver, intestines, colon and pelvis.
They've spent the last 10 months---their entire lives---in our NICU, receiving care until they were ready for surgery. I have gotten to know this family over the last 10 months and they are incredible people with strong faith and a truly inspiring attitude--- even when faced with unimaginable challenges, like leaving their whole life in Lubbock, along with their 5-year-old son, to live here in Houston so that their girls can get the care they need.
I became the lead member on our PR team to work with this family to share their story in the media and we have become very close. Over the last almost year, I've helped the family announce the girl's birth (when they were about 5 months old), their tissue expansion surgery and most recently, their separation surgery. I've also worked with our surgeons and experts so they could provide the media with insights into the complexities of the surgery and overall care during interviews.
It is with great joy that I can now say that Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith were successfully separated by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons at Texas Children's Hospital. It was a complex surgery, but these miracle babies, in the hands of our skilled surgeons, now have the chance to lead independent lives.
I can't tell you what it means to me to know that this incredible family will get to watch their girls grow up and lead separate lives. I could write a novel about the incredible experience of working with this family and the surgical team, but I will let the stories myself and my team worked on with various media outlets tell their story because the images and videos are incredibly moving and beautiful.
My favorite story is the one I worked on with Janet Shamlian for the TODAY show. You can watch that one here. We also worked on a longer story with ABC's Nightline that you can watch here. The Houston Chronicle story is here and Kevin Reece did a wonderful piece on KHOU, here--- and there are many more but too many to share in this post. You can also view of a full gallery of photos on the Texas Children's Hospital Facebook page.
This family has been a part of my life for nearly a year---Elysse and I talk almost every day and I am so thankful that I have had the blessing of knowing them. I also feel very lucky to have played even a very small role in such a historic surgery, as this is the first time ever that a separation of conjoined twins configured the way Knatalye and Adeline are, was successful.
If you would like continued updates, you can follow the family's journey as their girls recover on their Facebook page and their YouCaring page. If you are so inclined, the family is also fundraising for all of the care and therapies the girls will need once they are discharged. As you can imagine, the girls will have to learn to sit, crawl, walk, etc. and I'm so grateful they will have the chance to do that.
Thank you for reading and allowing me to share a little part of what I do with you. If you're interested in learning more about what I do, I would love to hear from you. A lot of you have emailed me about what it's like to do PR at a children's hospital but I've never done a full post about it. Let me know if you would be interested!
*All photos by Allen S. Kramer/Texas Children's Hospital