Formerly conjoined twins celebrate anniversary at VCU - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Formerly conjoined twins celebrate anniversary at VCU

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

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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