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News : National Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Nov 20, 2017 - 5:46:42 PM

Home for the Holidays - Formerly Conjoined Twins, Erin and Abby Delaney, Depart Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

By Staff Editor
Nov 20, 2017 - 5:42:22 PM

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Nov. 20, 2017 -- After 485 days at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), formerly conjoined twins, Erin and Abby Delaney, were discharged to return home to North Carolina, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Abby and Erin were born in CHOP's Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit on July 24, 2016, 10 weeks premature and joined at the top of their heads. On Tuesday, June 6, a multidisciplinary team of approximately 30 members successfully completed the separation of the then 10-month-old twins. The surgery, co-led by neurosurgeon Gregory Heuer, MD, PhD, and plastic surgeon Jesse Taylor, MD, lasted about 11 hours. It was the 24th time that surgeons at CHOP have separated a pair of conjoined twins, but the first craniopagus (joined at the head and the least common) pair.

Erin and Abby will require additional surgeries as they mature. Their CHOP team, who has been caring for them since birth, will continue to monitor them as they grow up. The team is optimistic about their progress so far and about their long-term potential. Read more in this update from Oct 22.

"The girls are inspiring," said Heather Delaney, mother to Erin and Abby. "As their parents, it is very neat for Riley and me to have a front-row seat to this and watch them overcome these incredible obstacles. We cannot wait to see what their future holds!"

"The team at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has become like family," added Heather. "Riley and I are so grateful for the care our girls have received here and so excited to take them home —just in time for the holidays."

Watch Erin and Abby's story here:

About Conjoined Twins: 
Doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have separated 24 sets of conjoined twins since 1957, more than any other hospital in the Western Hemisphere. The physicians have also managed the care of many others whose separation was not surgically possible. Conjoined twins occur once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births; most are stillborn. Approximately 75 percent of conjoined twins are female and joined at least partially in the chest and share organs with one another. If they have separate sets of organs, chances for surgery and survival are greater than if they share the same organs. Craniopagus, represented by fusion of the skull, is the least common type of conjoined twins, accounting for 2 percent of cases.

About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide.  Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country.  In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 546-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

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