Saginaw, Texas residents James Finley and Amanda Arciniega recently welcomed twin girls, Amielyn and Jamielynn, born in October, as reported by NBC Fort Worth affiliate KXAS.
During a segment on TODAY that aired on January 26, the couple recounted the shock of discovering they were expecting conjoined twins during a 10-week ultrasound.
“After the appointment, we were silent, and there was a somber atmosphere,” Arciniega shared with tears welling up.
Conjoined twins occur in only about one in every 200,000 live births. Amielyn and Jamielynn were conjoined from the lower part of the breastbone to the buttocks, sharing the same liver, presenting a unique challenge for doctors attempting separation.
“There’s no medical textbook you can open that says, ‘Step one: conjoined twins separation.’ That doesn’t exist because of the rarity of this,” explained Dr. Ben Gulley, a plastic surgeon at Cook Children’s Hospital.
A team of 25 medical professionals, including six surgeons, collaborated to assist the girls. Dr. José Iglesias led the effort, emphasizing how much the human spirit and collaboration can achieve.