NC twins who survived one of the rarest separation surgeries are thriving toddlers

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MOORESVILLE, NC (ABC News) — A set of twin girls who captured the world’s attention after surviving an 11-hour head separation surgery are now healthy 2-year-olds.

“We had no expectations,” mom Heather Delaney of Mooresville, North Carolina, told “Good Morning America.” “The fact they are doing as well as they are is amazing to us. It’s really cool to watch them grow and change and turn into these little people.”

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Erin and Abby Delaney were both born 2 pounds, 1 ounce on July 24, 2016. When Heather Delaney was 11 weeks pregnant, doctors discovered the twins were joined at the head. Heather and Riley Delaney consulted with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for separation surgery of their children.

Being conjoined by the head is the rarest form and occurs about six times in 10 million births, according to CHOP. And what’s even more rare, the Delaney twins were totally fused, with their connection extending deep into brain tissue. Doctors were particularly concerned that they shared a superior sagittal sinus, which is the large vessel that carries blood from the brain to the heart.