A year later, the previously united twins learned to grow independently.



UNIVERSITY CITY —

It's been over a year since the Delaney twins broke up at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.

For Erin and Abby Delaney, ages 2 and 1/2, life is about playing and having fun. They do not understand the hours of therapy they perform every day, but it is paying off.

Abby and Erin entered the world sharing a skull. With only 10 months of age, they separated during 11 hours of surgery at the Children's Hospital.

However, that was only the beginning of what remains a long and difficult road. They spent 485 days in the hospital before going to their home in North Carolina and every day they include work hours in basic skills that the younger children have already mastered.

"The girls are receiving physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, food therapy, play therapy and music therapy," said mom, Heather Delaney, with a laugh. "We have a lot of therapy."

Heather says they are learning something new every week. Abby can finally sit alone and although neither of the girls walks, Erin is crawling, everywhere.

"She's a little crazy person, she crawls faster than any other girl she's seen crawling in. She's also starting to recover from things," Heather said.

They are also developing individual personalities.

"Erin loves music, every time the music is turned on, she starts kicking her feet, Abby is a person, she loves to sit on someone's lap," Heather said.

The twins will need more surgery: the first, in the next year or two, to close the holes in the top of their heads.

"It's very safe for them to live without bones on the top of their head now, but as they get older, participate in sports, etc., it would be good for them to have completed the skulls," said Dr. Jesse Taylor. , plastic surgeon at CHOP.

They will also need plastic surgery for the face and scalp. Her mother says it has been a tough experience, but she is grateful.

"They changed their lives, so they can be who they want to be, instead of just being the twins together," Heather said.

This was one of the first separations for twins held together in the head, but doctors say that smaller babies heal faster and believe that Abby and Erin will have better brain recovery and physical progress. His mother says they are his miraculous babies.

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