Conjoined twins born in Pennsylvania won't be surgically separated

A Pennsylvania couple has decided not to risk surgery on their conjoined twins, who share a heart and a liver.
By Kate Stanton   |   April 24, 2014 at 6:59 PM   |   Comments

INDIANA, Pa., April 24 (UPI) -- Kody Stancombe and Michelle Van Horne, of Indiana, Pa., brought their conjoined twins home from the hospital this month after deciding not to risk the dangers of separating them.

Van Horne gave birth to Andrew and Garrett Stancombe on April 10. The two boys share a heart and a liver and are joined from the chest to the waist.

"It would hurt us to lose one and have the other," Van Horne told WTAE of her decision not to try to separate them with surgery. "They were born together; they can stay together."

Conjoined twins occur in one in every 200,000 live births, with a survival rate between 5 and 25 percent. So Van Horne said she sees the twins as her "miracle babies."

“We were told that I was going to have a stillbirth,” she told WPXI.

For now, the twins are happy and healthy. Their parents have even learned a few tricks for dressing and caring for conjoined twins.

“We basically take two outfits and snap them together,” Van Horne said.

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