Twin sisters, JamieLynn and AmieLynn Finley, who were born conjoined at the chest and stomach and spent nearly six months in the hospital, have achieved significant milestones in their young lives. The sisters recently celebrated their first birthday, marking a remarkable journey of growth and progress.
Their father, James Finley, shared their excitement, saying, “They don’t sit still anymore. They are busy… they wake up at 6 in the morning and they are ready.” Just nine months ago, the twins underwent a rare and complex 11-hour surgery that separated their liver, skin, and fascia.
Following the successful surgery, JamieLynn and AmieLynn spent several more months in the hospital before finally being able to go home to Saginaw, Texas, for the first time in their lives. JamieLynn returned home in March, followed by AmieLynn a month later. Since then, the sisters have continued to make impressive strides in their development, much to the delight of their parents and medical team.
Amanda Arciniega, the girls’ mother, expressed her amazement at their progress, noting, “I just think it’s so crazy because they had just got home not too long ago and now they’re just thriving.” She described how the sisters share a special bond, always wanting to touch each other, hold hands, and exchange affectionate kisses. Their beds are placed next to each other, ensuring they wake up together.
JamieLynn and AmieLynn Finley
Adding to their shared experiences, JamieLynn and AmieLynn have a favorite movie, Disney’s “Moana,” which was the theme of their first birthday party. They are captivated by the movie’s music, and it never fails to put a smile on their faces.
The fact that JamieLynn and AmieLynn can now celebrate their first birthday by walking, dancing, and enjoying birthday cake in separate high chairs is nothing short of a miracle. James Finley reflects on their incredible journey and the gratitude he feels for their fortunate outcome, especially when he visits Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth for their follow-up medical appointments. The medical center is where the girls underwent the intricate separation surgery and spent their initial months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Conjoined twins are a rare occurrence, with only a small number, approximately one in every 50,000 to 60,000 births, surviving past birth. Dr. Jose Iglesias, the medical director of pediatric surgery at Cook Children’s Medical Center and the lead surgeon for the twins’ separation surgery, attests to the rarity of their case.
Dr. Mary Frances Lynch, the neonatologist who cared for JamieLynn and AmieLynn in the NICU, has been impressed by the twins’ progress. She mentions that they are achieving their developmental milestones on target, displaying strong social interactions, and even slightly surpassing expectations in their motor skills.
Doctors are closely monitoring the twins, particularly AmieLynn, who is receiving treatment for scoliosis. However, the expectation is that both sisters will lead healthy lives. The medical team, including nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, and respiratory therapists, has been deeply involved in their care and continues to support their journey.
Dr. Lynch emphasizes the wonderful support the twins have received from their parents, describing them as an amazing and caring family. She highlights the outpouring of love and care that the girls have experienced, making them truly blessed to have such dedicated parents and a loving family.
In this incredible story of survival and triumph, JamieLynn and AmieLynn’s first birthday marks a significant milestone in their journey towards a brighter and healthier future.