A Decade Ago, Advanced Surgery Separated Conjoined Twins: Now, They’ve Blossomed into Young Adults

Having a baby always carries inherent risks, but when Isabelle and Abby Carlsen were born, their parents saw it as nothing short of a miracle. These beautiful twins entered the world over a decade ago, conjoined at the chest and abdomen, sharing a liver, small intestine, and intertwined hearts. The global spotlight fell on them as they were delivered at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Amidst the anticipation of their separation surgery, their parents faced a difficult decision. The weight of fear and worry over the operation burdened their shoulders, as they were aware that, at the time, 60 percent of similar procedures ended tragically, according to the Star Tribune.

On May 12, 2006, a team of 17 surgeons embarked on the delicate task of separating the twins. The twelve-hour operation was filled with nerve-wracking moments, especially when it came time to sever their shared liver. Their family endured a long wait, but thankfully, the procedure went according to plan, and both girls survived. However, they had to spend the first six months of their lives in hospital rooms.


Fast forward a decade, and it’s hard to believe that these two girls were once conjoined. Isabelle and Abby are now thriving! They have blossomed into fun-loving girls, passionate about gymnastics, and beloved by everyone around them. Academically advanced, they have become independent individuals, occasionally holding hands as they walk together. Their transformation is so remarkable that they can hardly recognize themselves in the picture of their conjoined infancy.

In an interview with their former teacher, Tiffany Moos, it was evident that Isabelle and Abby have become vibrant, confident, and socially adept young girls. Their story is truly inspiring, and they share it in their own words in the accompanying clip.

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