Once-Conjoined Twins Make Debut at Pa. Hospital

Allison June, Amelia Lee Tucker expected 'to have full, independent lives'

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 21, 2012 11:54 AM CST

(Newser) – More than nine months after they were born joined at the lower chest and abdomen, twin girls made their public debut yesterday at the hospital where they were separated.
Allison June and Amelia Lee Tucker, clad in animal-striped shirts and flowered headbands, were introduced during a news conference at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Both girls still have nasal tubes but appeared rosy-cheeked and alert as they were held by their parents, Shellie and Greg Tucker, of Adams, NY.

Allison, described by doctors and her parents as the smaller but feistier twin, was discharged from the hospital Monday. Her sister Amelia, who's larger and more reserved, needs a little more recovery time and will remain in the hospital into the new year. "We totally expect them to have full, independent lives," said pediatric surgeon Dr. Holly Hedrick, who led a 40-person medical team in the complex seven-hour operation on Nov. 7. The twins shared a chest wall, diaphragm, liver, and pericardium, the membrane around the heart.

Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison, left, and Amelia, present their nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.
Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison, left, and Amelia, present their nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.   (Matt Rourke)
Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison, center, and Amelia, right, present their nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.
Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison, center, and Amelia, right, present their nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.   (Matt Rourke)
Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison, left, and Amelia, present their nine-month-old girls.
Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison, left, and Amelia, present their nine-month-old girls.   (Matt Rourke)
Shellie and Greg Tucker, along with son Owen, 2, left, parents of Allison, center, and Amelia, center right, present their nine-month-old girls at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.
Shellie and Greg Tucker, along with son Owen, 2, left, parents of Allison, center, and Amelia, center right, present their nine-month-old girls at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.   (Matt Rourke)
Doctors look on as Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison and Amelia,  nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins, speak at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.
Doctors look on as Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison and Amelia, nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins, speak at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.   (Matt Rourke)
Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison, center, and Amelia, right, present their nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.
Shellie and Greg Tucker, parents of Allison, center, and Amelia, right, present their nine-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined twins at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Dec. 20, 2012.   (Matt Rourke)
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