A celebration Thursday to mark the one year anniversary of a life changing surgery that separated conjoined twins.
Two-year-old Maria and Teresa Tapia were joined at the lower chest and abdomen.
But after a first of its kind surgery, at VCU's Children's Hospital, the toddlers were separated.
The milestone is being marked with a reception.
The sounds of a steel drum band filled the air as Maria and Teresa made their way through a crowd of well wishers.
Seeing the toddlers separated is being called a miracle.
The girls and their mother traveled from their home in the Dominican Republic to attend the fiesta - celebrating one year of surgical success.
Through a translator their mother, Lisandra Sanatis, spoke about the girls.
"They're doing great. They're going to school. They're still very much joined. They're always looking for each other - hugging each other," said Sanatis.
The nearly day-long surgery was a first for doctors at VCU's Children's Hospital.
A year later, doctors say the girls are in good health.
"They're making great developmental milestones and achieving all of their goals," said Dr. William Moskowitz.
A team of 45 physicians worked together to separate the twins.
Maria and Teresa Tapia are making strides together and apart. It's a dream come true for their family.
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