Twins Get New Shot at Life: 5 Brilliant Stories
Conjoined twins separated in 21-hour surgery, plus more uplifting news
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2017 5:20 AM CST
In this Nov. 2, 2016 photo provided by Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Marino Abel Camacho holds his conjoined daughters, Ballenie and Bellanie Camacho before surgery at Maria Fareri Children's...   (Ben Cotten/WMCHealth via AP)

(Newser) – Conjoined twins who got "chances for better lives" make this week's list of inspiring stories:

  • Mom Uses YouTube Videos to Build a Home With Her Kids: In 2008, Cara Brookins had just left a husband she describes as "physically violent" and wanted desperately to give her four children a home where they'd each have their own room. Her solution? She began studying home-construction tutorials on YouTube. Crazily, it worked.
  • Conjoined Twins Separated in 21-Hour Surgery: Ballenie and Bellanie Camacho are separated for the first time since they were born 11 months ago. The twins, who were conjoined at the base of their spine, were separated during a 21-hour surgery that began Jan. 17. Their dad knows exactly what they'll do first thing when they get back home.

  • Inquisitive Text Leads Man to Missing Teen: A suburban New York man heard police helicopters Tuesday morning and texted a neighbor to ask what was going on. The neighbor told him about a teen who had been missing about 12 hours during a storm—and what happened next was amazing.
  • Woman's Lungs Were Killing Her, So Docs Just Removed Them: Melissa Benoit "thought it was a piece of science fiction" when she learned what doctors had done to her. The Canadian mom, who was born with cystic fibrosis and came down with a bad flu, survived for six days without lungs—but, amazingly, the desperate move her doctors took worked.
  • Hubby's 20th Anniversary Gift for Wife: 'Life': Cindy and Scott Chafian might have spent their 20th wedding anniversary renewing their vows on a beach in the Bahamas. Instead, the pair sat side-by-side in a hospital room drinking from champagne flutes and eating cake. And they wouldn't have had it any other way. Cindy has polycystic kidney disease, which has caused her kidneys to deteriorate, and though Scott offered her one of his kidneys six years ago, Cindy wasn't willing to accept it. Then she hit "rock bottom."
Click for more uplifting news.

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