Doctors have successfully separated a baby girl from the Ivory Coast born with four legs and two spines in a rare and complex surgery at the Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, Chicago.
Ten-month-old Dominique underwent a six-hour procedure involving five surgeons on March 8 2017. She is now thriving with the Chicago foster family who will look after her until she is well enough to return home, her doctors and foster mother told Reuters on Monday.
Pediatric and reconstructive surgeon Frank A. Vicari said: ‘It’s going rather well. She was only in the hospital a total of five days. She’s been home with ‘step-mom’ and just doing very, very well’.
Dominique was born with a parasitic twin. The bottom half of her not-fully-developed twin’s body protruded from her neck and back.
‘A parasitic twin is an identical twin that fails to fully separate in development,’ said John R. Ruge, a pediatric neurosurgeon at the hospital.
‘In other words, not another independent twin, but a twin that was dependent on her body system, such that Dominique’s heart and lungs provided the nourishment.’
Dominique is under the care of Nancy Swabb, from Edgebrook, Illinois, who has looked after her since she arrived in the United States for the surgery.
Swabb said baby Dominique has been a joy and that they are enjoying her as a family.
“We send a lot of photos and updates and so we know that Dominique’s family sees what she’s doing and seeing that she has two new teeth and she’s learning to wave and doing all sorts of special things.” She added.
Swabb described her her as “pretty amazing” and thinking of saying goodbye is a hard thing to do as Dominique as touched their hearts.