Given only a 5 to 25 percent of survival by doctors, conjoined twins Shylah and Selah Oglesby were delivered just 31 weeks into their mother’s pregnancy. Conjoined by the chest and navel, the twins shared not only the same mother, but also the same liver. Incredibly, their hearts, lungs and intestines were separate.
Unfortunately, Baby Selah also suffered a heart defect leaving her at a high risk for heart failure.
Parents Misty and Curtis Oglesby agreed to have the twins undergo an incredibly invasive surgery to separate the sisters.
For three months, physicians at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center created, planned and practiced an incredible risky surgery to separate the twins.
This extremely rare and laborious surgery took over six hours. “When we made that final cut to completely separate the twins, there was a sense of success and happiness not just for the entire team but more importantly for the parents who had worked with us so closely as a team for months to get to that point,” Said Dr.
Foong-Yen Lim, surgical director of the Cincinnati Fetal Center.
After un-conjoining, baby Selah underwent additional surgeries to repair her heart. She was so weak and fragile, that doctors urged Oglesby’s husband Curt to rush to the hospital unsure the little girl would make it.
Yet the little fighter pulled through! “She is a fighter,” her mom said. “She has a drive to live… she’s amazing.”
But, after spending a grueling 15 months at the hospital, the twins are home with their mother and father. Instead of sharing a small chance of life, now the two share something joyous, a happy and healthy second birthday!
“Today feels like their first birthday,” says their mom. “Their first birthday in which they’ll be able to eat cake. The first birthday where they’re mobile and able to get around and open presents.”
Now, they are leading the lives of typical toddlers: running around the house, being mischievous, throwing tantrums and starting to talk!
“Shylah is the talkative, funny one. Selah is more timid and loving but strong and determined.” Says mother Misty. “They are my miracles… I don’t take one day for granted. Every little milestone they meet, every bite that they take… everything is just a huge victory. I enjoy every moment of it.”
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