Separated Twins Remain in Critical Condition

Thursday, January 22nd 2009, 8:52 pm
By: News 9

Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY - Formerly conjoined twin girls remain in critical condition four days after successful separation surgery.

Preslee Faith Wells and Kylee Hope Wells were separated on Monday at the Children's Hospital at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. They had been joined at the chest since their birth on Oct. 25.

Related Story: Conjoined Twins Separated

Twins Separated

The surgery team was lead by Dr. David Tuggle. He said Thursday it may take one or two months for the twins' bodies to adjust to being apart.

Tuggle said his team did its best to close the wounds, but a critical challenge still faces the 3-month-olds.

"They don't have quite enough room in each of their bodies for each of their organs," Tuggle said.

Doctors said the twins will require more surgery within a year. Despite the hurdles ahead, mother Stevie Stewart said her daughters will defy all odds.

"I'm really optimistic," Stewart said. "I'm just ready to get them home, ready to watch them grow up."

The grandparents of the twins said they are proud of their own children.

"It made it easier because, as grandparents, you're not just worried about your grandkids, you're worried about your kids," the twins' grandmother Marla Longbrake said. "They never questioned why."

The girls are the first known American Indian conjoined twins, but headlines hint at a similar story 22 years ago, when Faith and Hope Cox were also separated at the OU Medical Center.

Faith and Hope, coincidently, are Preslee and Kylee's middles names.

If all goes well, doctors said the girls could go home by early spring.