Formerly Conjoined Twins Going Home for Thanksgiving

Formerly conjoined twins were released from a Philadelphia hospital just in time to return home to North Carolina for Thanksgiving.

Twins Erin and Abby Delaney were conjoined at the head when they were born 10 weeks premature in July 2016.

After spending 10 months with the tops of their heads attached, the girls underwent a separation surgery in June. In the months that followed, the girls had additional surgeries and experienced a series of setbacks in the healing process.

But after spending 485 days at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the 15-month-old twins are strong and healthy enough to be discharged from care on Monday.

Parents Heather and Riley Delaney were first admitted to CHOP when they learned she was carrying conjoined twins.

“When the girls were born, they were two pounds, one ounce a piece,” Heather told CBS News in October. “So, they were able to fit in my shirt and do skin-to-skin with them. So they’ve grown a lot.”

The twins’ separation surgery was a risky procedure and there was a chance they could lose both babies. After months of planning, Erin and Abby underwent an 11-hour surgery to fully separate their bodies. Abby experienced complications after she began excessively bleeding, but both twins survived.

“The girls are so inspiring,” Heather said in a statement. “As their parents, it is very neat for Riled and me to have a front-row seat to this and watched them overcome these incredible obstacles. We cannot wait to see what their future holds!”

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Neurosurgeon Dr. Greg Heuer, one of the doctors who cared for the girls, told CBS News that Erin and Abby’s progress has been “amazing.”

Doctors say the twins will require additional surgeries as they continue to grow, but they are confident in their progress and have high hoped for their long-term potential.