PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Formerly conjoined twins Eva and Erika Sandoval have left Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and will be headed home in a few weeks.
The 2 1/2-year-old Antelope girls, who were born conjoined from the chest down, were separated on Dec. 6 at the hospital. They were moved from Palo Alto to UC Davis Children's Hospital in Sacramento Thursday.
There, they will receive a few weeks of inpatient rehabilitation before returning to their family's home.
Pediatric surgeon Dr. Gary Hartman, who led the 50-person team that separated the twins in a 17-hour operation, says the twins are doing great and have blossomed in their individual personalities.
Before surgery, the girls shared a bladder, liver, parts of their digestive system and a third leg. Their parents say each girl retains portions of the organs they shared. Each still has one leg. Tissue from the third leg was used as part of Erika’s reconstructive surgery.
Earlier this month, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford held a going away party for the girls. In a press release sent by the hospital, the parents, Art and Aida Sandoval, expressed their excited.
“I’m over the moon,” Aida said. “It’s still surreal seeing them separate, knowing that it’s still them as two individual bodies. Now we’re just waiting for their next chapter to begin, and the anticipation is indescribable.”
At UC Davis Children’s Hospital, the twins’ caregivers will focus on helping their mother and home care nurses learn to take care of them safely at home, and will keep building skills the girls still need, such as eating by mouth. As infants, Erika and Eva required tube feeding. They still receive most of their nutrition via nasogastric tubes. The team at UC Davis will also use specialized equipment to improve the girls’ mobility.
Eva was discharged from Packard Children’s on Thursday, March 9, while Erika healed up more quickly, allowing her to be discharged on Feb. 13.