HOUSTON - The bonds of twin-hood are tight,band none are tighter than with these two: Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata, born April 11th at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women in Houston. Aside from sharing a room at Texas Children's, and a five-year-old brother, the girls also share a liver, a diaphragm, intestines and a pericardial sack -- the lining of the heart. The girls are conjoined twins - a condition so rare, it only occurs in 1 out of every 180,000 births.
"We were doing the ultrasound and the ultrasound tech was like, 'Hmm,'" says the twins mother Elysse Mata, "so I got scared and then she walked out and anytime they walk out you're like, 'oh my gosh.'"
Dr. Stephen Welty with Texas Children's Hospital has seen only a few cases. "It is quite uncommon," he says, "I've always worked at big referral centers, so we see very uncommon stuff quite commonly and it's even uncommon for us."
While it will be risky, doctors plan to surgically separate the twins as soon as they're strong enough. "This will be tough," Dr. Welty says, "don't get me wrong, this will be a challenging procedure, but my expectation is the prognosis is good for both of them."
You don't have to wonder why the girls were named Hope and Faith. "I have a lot of faith in God," Elysse says. "I know He knows what He's doing and He's pushing me and keeping me going and He's proving to me everyday that He's still with us, that He's in controll and that in the end it's going to work out."