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Conjoined Twins Prepare to be Separated

   |  Posted Jun 6th, 2006 @ 9:58pm



 

Shelley Osterloh Reporting

Formerly conjoined twin girls returned home to North Dakota with a big welcome. Doctors separated the six month old girls who were born attached at the diaphragm, liver and pancreas.

Seeing those two little girls go home after surgery has given new hope to the Herrin Family. They too have conjoined twin girls.

Kendra and Maliayh are now four-years old, and in a few weeks they'll start the process of being separated.

Kendra and Maliyah are happy, talkative, curious four-year olds who have learned to work together to get around; they even do summersaults. The girls help take care of 11 month old twin brothers, just as their six year old sister Courtney cared for them.

Erin and Jake Herrin say the time is right for the girls to be separated.

Erin Herrin: "Kendra and Maliyah are healthier than they've been in the four years that they've been alive. We just feel it's the right thing to do."

So near the end of June, the girls will go to Primary Children's Hospital to begin the process of separation, starting with tissue expanders which are placed under their skin to stretch it so it can later cover the areas where doctors will cut.

Maliyah: "I will have one leg when I get cut apart."

Courtney: "They only get one leg and they are going to get a robot leg."

The girls share a liver, which can be separated, but they also share a kidney. And when they are separated, Maliyah will have to go through dialysis until she is recovered enough for a kidney transplant.

Jake Herrin: "Everything we've gone through has made us better individually and as a family, and we've only grown closer because of it."

Erin Herrin: "And every time they say, "I can't do that," we say yes you can, just try, just try it maybe you can. And they have and they've accomplished a lot."

Though the surgery has risks, the Herrins say they are confident the girls will do well, and whatever the challenges, they will confront them as a family.

The girls will likely be in the hospital several months. If want to follow their progress, the family has a website at www.HerrinTwins.com.

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