NORTH SALT LAKE -- The 4-year-old twins conjoined at birth and separated three weeks ago are out of the intensive care unit and recovering well. Jake Herrin, father to the twins Kendra and Maliyah Herrin, met with the press Monday to report that his girls were moved from ICU. "Their spirits are very high," he said. "They're happy as can be." Reports said the two girls had been using syringes to squirt one another and visiting nurses, yesterday morning. Kendra and Maliyah Herrin were born in February 2002 conjoined at mid-torso, sharing multiple internal organs, including just one kidney and a pair of legs. The surgery to have the girls separated was delayed until physicians believed the shared kidney would present less complications. The twins were separated in a 26-hour surgery Aug. 7, and almost a month later, Jake said they are well on their way to healing. During the surgery the twin's single pelvis was split and reconstructed. Each girl kept one leg.
Kendra kept the kidney, and Maliyah will be on dialysis until she is strong enough to receive one of her mother's kidneys in a few months.
Dr. Rebecka Meyers, who led the eight-member surgical team, believes the separation will be the first successful surgery on conjoined twins that shared a kidney.
The surgical wounds appear to be healing well, with only minor setbacks. Maliyah reacted poorly to a combination of seven pain medications and had to have surgeons replace the first implanted dialysis catheter.
Jake said he isn't sure when the twins will leave the hospital.
He said the family is preparing for their homecoming. They have bought a second bed, a second car seat and more clothes for the girls.