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Doctors in Kentucky say it is nearly impossible to separate a pair of conjoined twins who share several organs including their liver.
Twin girls Lakelyn and Laylie were born in Louisville on Sept. 1 at 32 weeks, weighing only 2lbs, 13oz each.
Their parents, Charla and Logan Cook, were told last month that the girls likely wouldn’t survive. On Monday, they were released from the NICU and sent home, where they will continue receiving medical care.
‘They are doing very well, all things considered!’ Charla told local TV station WLKY.
Lakelyn and Laylie share a liver, bowel, heart wall and a several other organs, which will make it nearly impossible to separate them.
However, after appointments at several hospital across the nation, the family found a team of doctors in Florida who are willing to try the procedure. But, due to an unexpected early delivery, it remains unknown if the surgery will actually happen.
Conjoined twin girls Lakelyn and Laylie (pictured) were born in Louisville on Sept. 1 at 32 weeks, weighing only 2lbs, 13oz each. Doctors say is nearly impossible to separate them because they share several organs including their liver
The twins’ parents, Charla (pictured) and Logan Cook, of Kentucky, were told last month that the girls likely wouldn’t survive. On Monday, they were released from the NICU and sent home, where they will continue receiving medical care
Charla discovered she was pregnant in March with what she thought would be her fourth child, according to the family’s Facebook page.
On June 11 the Cooks went for their routine 20-week anatomy scan and learned they were actually expecting twins. After further testing, it was revealed that the babies were conjoined.
‘I went to several regular appointments before they found out about the twins and everything was always “normal.” Their heartbeat was great and everything with me had been good,’ Charla shared.
‘We were very excited to welcome our fourth and final baby. But then to hear this news, it was devastating.’
The family was given four days to decide whether or not to go through with their pregnancy.
‘For me, four days was not enough time to decide life or death for my girls. So we began looking for hospitals that had dealt with conjoined twins and had success,’ she penned.
Over the next month, the Cooks made appointments at several hospitals and spoke with multiple medical teams, only to receive heartbreaking news:
‘I have to prepare myself for ultimately what is to come and that’s my girls will not survive longer than a few weeks at best. They have estimated hours, days or weeks but after that the girls will die,’ Charla said at the time.
‘Once they are born it’s up to them how long they will live. I am completely heartbroken and there really are no words for what I’m going through. I will say that I now appreciate my three other children so much more than I ever thought I could. I didn’t realize how lucky I was having three healthy babies until now. I am so blessed despite what I’m currently facing.’
Charla, Logan and their three children decided that the best plan moving forward was to try and spend as much time with the twins as possible after their birth.
Lakelyn and Laylie share a liver, bowel, heart wall and a several other organs. A specialist in Florida – the only doctor who agreed to try a separation procedure – devised a plan that aimed to save ‘twin A’ because she has a stronger heart and better survival chance
The family planned to have the girls at a hospital in Florida, but due to unexpected circumstances were forced to deliver about a month early in Kentucky
‘If they can be stable enough to not need life support then they will come home with us until the ultimately pass away. We will have comfort care at home and I pray I get days or weeks with them,’ Charla wrote in July.
‘Having this time will make it harder when they do pass away but I want to make as many memories as I can and allow their siblings and other family members to be able to meet them and spend time together as well.’
Meantime, medical specialists across the nation learned about the Cooks’ case and started reaching out.
The family traveled to Florida in early August to meet with a doctor who devised a plan that could save one of the twins.
‘Her ultimate idea/plan [was] to try to save baby A because her heart is better and she has a better chance of survival. So, we would have to deliver the twins in Florida and both of them survive and thrive long enough to plan and schedule the separation surgery,’ Charla shared.
‘At this point of course I want to do whatever to save one of these girls and give her a chance at life. It’s just very unfortunate to have to lose twin B. However if we stay here and deliver I will lose them both no matter what.’
In wake of the treatment plan, the family started to prepare for their relocation and anticipated delivering the twins in October on their prospective due date.
Charla described the news of her changed delivery date as ‘the beginning of the end.’ She said: ‘we won’t be able to travel to Florida and find housing in time to make that a possibility now. My biggest prayer now is a miracle the girls will be stable enough to come home for however long god gives us time with them’
Logan (pictured) and Charla took the girls home from the NICU on Tuesday. They are currently receiving care from home healthcare workers and spending quality time with loved ones
Unfortunately, Charla learned near the end of August that she would have to deliver the babies on Sept. 1 in Kentucky.
‘To us it [was the] beginning of the end as we won’t be able to travel to Florida and find housing in time to make that a possibility now. My biggest prayer now is a miracle the girls will be stable enough to come home for however long god gives us time with them,’ said Charla on Aug. 24.
Lakelyn and Laylie were born eight days later after a successful surgery. The babies were able to breathe on their own and are in stable condition.
After a few days, they were taken off of IVs and given feeding tubes so they can drink breast milk.
On Tuesday, they were discharged from the NICU and sent home, where they are receiving care from home healthcare workers and spending quality time with loved ones.
‘The girls have done so well,’ the family said of their recovery.
However, due to their fragile state and complicated medical conditions, the Cooks are not able to make the journey to Florida.
‘We can’t take the girls to Florida in their condition so only time will tell us how things will go. We are certainly praying for miracles,’ Charla told WLKY.
‘These little babies are so strong and such fighters.’
A GoFundMe account has been established to help the family during this difficult time and aid in the cost of medical care.
You can also follow their journey on the Hickey Conjoined Twins Facebook page.
Charla says: ‘We can’t take the girls to Florida in their condition so only time will tell us how things will go. These little babies are so strong and such fighters’
A GoFundMe account has been established to help the Cook family during this difficult time and aid in the cost of the twins’ medical care
Source: Daily Mail