Heather and Riley Delaney are proud parents of two incredible girls. In her 11th week of pregnancy, Heather learned that she was carrying conjoined twins connected at the head—known as craniopagus twins—and despite just 2% odds of success, the brave little girls have now graduated from kindergarten.
The babies were born at 30 weeks gestation weighing just 6 pounds combined and remained in a neonatal intensive care unit until their first birthday. Then came a pioneering procedure to separate their skulls at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania. The surgery was successful, but both daughters have developmental difficulties due to the long separation process.
Despite this, Abby and Erin are both thriving as they approach their seventh birthday and proudly graduated from kindergarten this month. “There are days now where I sit back and think ‘I can’t believe how incredibly lucky we are’,” said Heather, a 33-year-old stay-at-home mom from Statesville, North Carolina. “Yes, they have disabilities and things they’re working through, but they’re so happy.”
The family has photos hung up in the house of when the girls were conjoined; Heather says that one day she will talk to them properly about it: “We want them to be proud of who they are and where they’ve come from,” she said.
Both Abby and Erin attend mainstream school with support for their needs; while Erin has been walking since she was five, Abby is slowly starting to – a cause for celebration! “When Abby can run too, I’ll be in trouble—it’s hard enough chasing one,” joked Heather.
The Delaney’s story is an inspiring tale of courage and hope: “It has always been our goal in sharing our story to try and reach any other parents faced with the same type of pregnancy we were—to give them hope,” said Heather proudly. “Now look at them – I’m so proud of them both.”
Sources: Good News Network