VALHALLA, New York - These two sisters have an incredible bond and now an incredible story to match thanks to a team of doctors at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital who performed life changing surgery on the conjoined pair last week. The girls are still recovering, but doctors are hopeful they'll be able to go home soon and live healthy and fully independent lives.
This was the first separation surgery ever performed on conjoined twins at Maria Fareri and the 21 hour procedure was extremely complex. 11 month old Ballenie and Bellanie Camacho were joined at the tail bone and had one common spinal cord, which presented some challenges for surgeons.
A team of more than 50 medical professionals performed multiple surgeries on the little ones including gastrointestinal and reconstructive work. Referred by a family friend to the hospital the girls' parents say they're forever grateful to the doctors and staff who went above and beyond for their family.
"Ballenie and Bellanie are as strong as they are beautiful and this dynamic duo is doing very well after a very long and complex surgery," said Samir Pandya, MD, who with Whitney McBride, MD, served as pediatric surgeons leading the surgical teams.
Extra moments from the separated twins news conference
The prognosis for Ballenie and Bellanie are good, doctors said.
Although they made their first public appearance since the surgery on Tuesday, the girls will spend several weeks in recovery at the hospital.
Conjoined twins are rare about one in every 200,000 births according to University of Maryland Medical Center.