AURORA, Colo., Aug. 26 (UPI) — A set of conjoined twins who were expected to be born Wednesday in Colorado face a perilous delivery, doctors say, and at least one of them won’t survive.
Amber McCullough, the mother to little Olivia and Hannah, was scheduled to have a caesarian section Wednesday to deliver the girls. But no one knows if even one of the girls, who are joined at the chest, stomach and hip, will make it home.
Because of the way they are joined, the girls must receive delicate and immediate medical care upon their entry to the world. And even then, doctors have already said both cannot survive.
“It’s pretty bad when you’re hoping to only grieve the loss of one child,” McCullough told KDVR in Denver.
Olivia will certainly die, doctors said, due to a malformed heart. Hannah could make it.
“If we kept them together for any real period of time at all, the result would be death for both,” McCullough said.
McCullough, from Minnesota, said she has traveled across the country to find a medical team that believed at least one of the girls could survive. Her original physician, in Philadelphia, recommended that she terminate the pregnancy for her health — and said neither baby would survive birth.
Already a mother of a 6-year-old boy, McCullough found doctors at the Fetal Care Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado who were willing to perform a separation surgery.
“How do I look my son in the eye and tell him that I love him unconditionally if I don’t fight for my girls,” she said.
Researchers at the University of Maryland say conjoined twins occur in one out of about 200,000 live births, and survival rates are low.
“I march forward to grieve Olivia, love on her, and create memories of her far too short but so very beautiful life. I march forward to battle for Hannah’s life with all my might and all my prayers.” Amber wrote on her Facebook page.