PALO ALTO, Calif. — Formerly conjoined twins Angelica and Angelina Sabuco will be returning to their home in San Jose, Calif. later this week, after a successful recovery from their separation surgery on November 1, physicians at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital announced this morning.
“Angelica and Angelina are doing great—sleeping in separate beds, eating their favorite foods, and even taking their first steps,” said mother Ginady Sabuco. “For the first time, our girls will be going home in two separate car seats. We are so grateful to the entire team at Packard Children’s. The surgeons, the nurses, the therapists and everyone on the staff—they have all been amazing.”
“We’re very happy with their progress,” said lead surgeon Gary Hartman, MD, “Their liver function is normal, they’re no longer on pain medication, their appetites are growing; they’re almost ready to go home.”
After the 10-hour surgery on November 1, which involved nearly a year of careful planning and involvement throughout the hospital, the identical twin sisters spent 6 days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
Angelina was eased off of her sedation first, and then taken off a ventilator after 48 hours. Angelica followed closely behind, and was breathing on her own after 72 hours. On November 7, the sisters were strong enough to graduate from intensive care to a regular hospital room, where they have been continuing their recovery.
The girls have physical therapy and occupational therapy daily to build their strength, endurance, gross- and fine-motor skills. Each sister is learning how to stand on her own without having the other sister as a counter-balance. Angelina and Angelica are also being taught to walk forward, rather than sideways.
Ginady, along with the twins’ dad Fidel, is excited to have them back at home, where a new double stroller and separate beds await—along with a whole new world of independence.
“I’ll see them weekly as outpatients for a while,” said Dr. Hartman, who noted that a plastic surgery team led by Peter Lorenz, MD, would also be seeing the twins for plastic surgery follow-up for their separation wound.
“We’re thrilled that they’ll now be able to run, play and enjoy very full lives as individual sisters,” said Hartman of his sixth successful conjoined twin separation. “And we think that after what they’ve been through, it’s safe to say that they will always be very, very close to each other.”
For additional information about and updated photos and video of the family, please visit http://conjoinedtwins.lpch.org.
About Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is annually ranked as one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, and is the only San Francisco Bay Area children’s hospital with programs ranked in the U.S. News Top Ten. The 311-bed hospital is devoted to the care of children and expectant mothers, and provides pediatric and obstetric medical and surgical services in association with the Stanford University School of Medicine. Packard Children’s offers patients locally, regionally and nationally a full range of health-care programs and services, from preventive and routine care to the diagnosis and treatment of serious illness and injury. For more information, visit www.lpch.org.