The twins in 2002, before their operation. AP Photo/Krista Niles

Formerly conjoined twins celebrate milestone 10th birthday

Maria Teresa Alvarez and Maria de Jesus Quiej-Alvarez were separated in 2002.

CONJOINED TWINS DO not have high survival rates – so for one pair of formerly conjoined sisters to celebrate 10 birthdays is a huge milestone.

The Guatemalan twins, Maria de Jesus and Maria Teresa Quiej-Alvarez, came to worldwide attention when they were separated in 2002 in a 23-hour surgery at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center.

Today they celebrate their 10th birthday with a party at a private home in Malibu.

Invited to the party were members of the 50-person operating-room team, as well as the girls’ school friends.

Jenny Hull, an executive board member of Mending Kids International, the organisation that arranged the $1. 5 million surgery, says the girls’ survival is nothing short of a miracle.

- AP

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