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Separate Fates

After 30 hours of painstaking surgery, a Johns Hopkins medical team separated 13-month-old Lea Block (pictured here) from her conjoined twin, Tabea, just after midnight on September 16. The girls, whose parents brought them to Hopkins from their native Germany in June, had been joined at the top of their heads. Although the babies' brains were separate, the two organs shared numerous important blood vessels. Sadly, Tabea died soon after the separation due to metabolic complications during the surgery. Her sister survived, however, and doctors believe Lea "now has a good chance at leading a healthy, independent life," according to Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson. Look for more on the heroic medical effort in the next issue of Johns Hopkins Magazine.

Return to November 2004 Table of Contents

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