VALHALLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Friday marked a day of celebration for 1-year-old formerly conjoined twins who left a Westchester County hospital with a positive prognosis.
Doctors and nurses at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital cheered as Bellanie and Ballanie Camacho made their final appearance.
The sisters were born joined at the spine and shared an artery, along with other organs.
“Really now what needs to happen is some intensive physical therapy and occupational therapy to help them develop the strength to crawl and walk, eventually,” their surgeon, Whiteney McBride, told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.
Bellanie and Ballanie will stay in the area for therapy before returning to their home in the Dominican Republic, 1010 WINS’ Andrew Falzone reported.
“There was work that needed to continue to be done, mostly plastic surgery with regards to closing the area where they were separated,” McBride said.
The girls’ father, Abel, was emotional as he spoke through a translator.
“We will always be grateful,” he said.
It took 21 hours and 50 doctors and nurses to perform the complex separation surgery on January 17.
“We put the two cribs together, and the babies looked at each other. And the bigger of the babies — a tear came down her eye and she blew a kiss. I am not lying, that was incredibly powerful for all of us,” a hospital family care coordinator told Falzone.
Doctors said their progress since has been remarkable, and the girls should grow up with no medical issues.