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Mother's joy as twins are separated
A mother has described her joy after a successful operation to separate her conjoined twins.
Rosie and Ruby Formosa, who were born joined at the abdomen and shared part of the intestine, needed an emergency operation to separate them.
The identical twins, who are only 12 weeks old, underwent an operation at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) on July 27 - the day after they were born.
Despite being told that survival chances were low, the sisters are now doing well and are smiling "bubbly babies", said their mother Angela.
Mrs Formosa, from Bexleyheath, Kent, said she had a "textbook" pregnancy with her first daughter Lily, now aged five, so finding out the twins were joined was a "shock".
"At an early pregnancy scan they said the twins looked very close together so I went to King's College for another scan," said the 32-year-old. "Between 16 and 20 weeks we found out that they were joined - I didn't know what to think, I was shocked and I felt sad. We didn't know what to expect until they were born - the doctors could not tell where they were connected.
"They decided to deliver them early at 34 weeks. I went into University College Hospital and had the C section and the doctors decided that the girls should go for their operation quite soon, within a couple of hours they had been taken to GOSH. I stayed at UCH overnight then discharged myself the next day so I could be with the girls."
The girls were operated on the next day by a team of specialists led by paediatric surgeon Professor Agostino Pierro.
He said: "In this case, the twins were joined by the abdomen at the level of the umbilicus and shared part of the intestine. The operation to separate the twins had to be performed as an emergency because of an intestinal blockage. We are delighted with the outcome of the operation. The babies will need further treatment in the future, but we expect that they will both be able to lead happy and normal lives."
Mrs Formosa said that she and her taxi driver husband Daniel, 36, were "happy and relieved" to have the girls at home. The mother-of-three added that she was "incredibly grateful" to the GOSH staff. The children's hospital is one of the most experienced centres in the world for the treatment of conjoined twins.