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Twins' Mother Advised Against Kidney Donation

   |  Posted Oct 20th, 2006 @ 12:36pm


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Doctors are telling the mother of formerly conjoined twins that she may not be the best candidate to donate a kidney to one of them.

Erin and Jake Herrin have a full house: five children, including another set of twins, 17-months-old.

"They're just asking us to consider that the demands on me are so great that it may not be the best idea," Erin Herrin, 25, said Friday.

Kendra and Maliyah Herrin, 4, were successfully separated in August at Primary Children's Medical Center.

Maliyah needs a kidney because the organ they shared was kept by Kendra. They were born conjoined at the mid-torso, sharing several organs, a pelvis and a pair of legs.

Erin Herrin had hoped to be the kidney donor. But doctors at University of Utah Hospital this week told her that recovery from surgery could last six weeks.

"I don't know if I could do that," she said. "I'm basically the caretaker for the girls and I'm the one that keeps the ball rolling."

Erin Herrin said she hasn't made a decision.

"If anything happened, I think it would put Jake over the edge," she said. "(Doctors) are just looking out for us and making sure that we do what's best for everybody."

It's unclear when Maliyah will be ready for a transplant. The initial estimate was three to six months after separation surgery.

At least four people have offered to be tested as possible donors since Jake Herrin, 26, posted the dilemma on a family Web site.

"I don't think we'll have any trouble finding a donor," he said.


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(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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