10 years ago these conjoined twins were separated through advanced surgery: Now they are all grown up

There are always risks in having a baby and when your child is born you think it’s nothing short of a miracle. Nobody knows this better than the parents of Isabelle and Abby Carlsen.

These two gorgeous girls were born over a decade ago as twins – conjoined at the chest and abdomen, with a shared liver, small intestine and two hearts intertwined.
They were miracle babies and the eyes of the world were on them when they were born at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

But their parents had a tough decision to make as surgeons prepared to carry out the delicate operation of separating them.
The parents took the heavy burden of fear and worry over the operation on their shoulders. At the time of the twins’ separation, 60 percent of all such procedures ended in fatalities, according to the Star Tribune.

On May 12, 2006 a team of 17 surgeons performed the delicate operation which took 12 hours and had many scary moments, particularly when it came time to severing the liver they shared.

It was a long wait for their family but thankfully everything went to plan and both girls survived, although they had to spend the first six months of their lives in hospital rooms.
Now a decade on you won’t believe the two girls were once conjoined; they’re thriving!

Today, Isabelle and Abby hardly believe the picture of them conjoined as babies is really them.

“Every night we look in the mirror in our room, and we’re like, how do people get us mixed up?” Abby said, according to CBS News.

Today, they are fun girls, into gymnastics, friends with everyone and academically advanced, according to an interview with their teacher at the time Tiffany Moos.

Although both very independent, occasionally they will be walking along together and grab each other’s hand.

Listen to Abby and Isabelle’s story in their own words in the clip below.

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