Now seperated conjoined twins make public debut

    8:52 AM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
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    PHILADELPHIA, PA (CNN) -- Six weeks ago, they were joined together physically. Now, a pair of formerly-conjoined twins are enjoying life on their own. The girls were separated last month and made their public debut Thursday.

    In fashionable zebra prints and flowery head bands, the Tucker twins made their debut at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Amelia is in the arms of her father Greg, and Allison with her mother Shelley. Shelley says, "It's been a pure roller coaster of emotions, but I wouldn't trade it for anything."

    The roller coaster started last November, when Shelley and Greg learned their twin girls were conjoined, connected at the lower chest and abdomen. A New York specialist advised them to terminate the pregnancy. Dr. Holly Hendrick says, "The outcome doesn't look good. The hearts are too close and they couldn't separate the babies. How can you look at the ultrasound and tell me they don't have a chance?"

    Fetal specialists at CHOP believed the girls had a good chance not just to survive, but to thrive. When we met the Tuckers two days before the March 1 delivery CHOP, they were scared, but determined. Shelley says, "Our girls somehow learned how to hug one another and soothe one another... we actually watched it during and ultra sound. It's another miracle."

    On Nov. 7, pediatric surgeon Dr. Hendrick lead a 40 member team through the seven hour operation. Hendrick says, "The girls have been in charge every step of the way. It required nearly every expertise in the hospital to get them through. They're now in a much, much better place."

    And now Shelley and Greg can see their daughters' independent personalities. Shelley says, "Allison is definitely the stronger one and the feisty one. Amelia is laid back, easy going. Every serious. Hard to get to smile, but when she does, she welcomes you with smiles every time. It's definitely a Christmas miracle."

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