Human Interest

Given a 20% chance of survival at birth, formerly conjoined twins start kindergarten

Rosie and Ruby Formosa were given only a 20% chance of survival when they were born conjoined and sharing an intestine. Now they are starting kindergarten.

Originally believing the girls shared an amniotic sac, their mother, Angela Formosa, was sent to King’s Hospital. She learned there that at 16 weeks gestation, they were conjoined.

“I was really, really, really scared and really upset because at that point I was told that there was a high possibility that the girls wouldn’t survive the pregnancy,” she told Sky News. “If they did survive the pregnancy, they might not survive the birth, then they might not survive the surgery. […] I didn’t prepare to bring them home.”

After they were born, doctors had hoped to give them a few months to become stronger before performing the risky surgery to separate them, but they discovered a dangerous intestinal blockage. The surgery would need to be performed immediately and the chance of one or both of them dying was high. Their parents anxiously waited for good news during the five-hour operation at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Their parents and doctors are amazed at how far the girls have come; and while they may need further treatment in the future, they are doing well and excited to be starting school.

“When I was pregnant, I didn’t think I’d ever see their first day at school, so it is really amazing and all, thanks to GOSH [Great Ormond Street Hospital], really,” said Mrs. Formosa.

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