Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Bailey twins

My Dad arrived for a visit from Arizona on Tuesday with the news that a pair of conjoined twins from his state had died. Emma and Taylor Bailey were born on September 19, 2006, joined at the chest and abdomen and sharing a single 7-chambered heart and a liver. They weren't expected to survive. In fact, their parents were making funeral arrangements for them even before they were born, and they are pictured (3rd image) in the gowns that they were to have been buried in. "We were told when they were born they'd live a few minutes, maybe a few hours," says their grandfather. They reached several milestones, including sitting up by themselves during physical therapy on March 29, 2008 (2nd image), and taking their 1st steps in November 2008.

Emma and Taylor Bailey died on August 10, 2010, at Seattle Children's Hospital during an operation to strengthen their heart in preparation for separation surgery, which was to take place later in the year. As their heart weakened, separation and donor hearts had became the only option for keeping them alive. But before they could be placed on the transplant list, their pulmonary artery burst. "We are humbled and honored to have felt the tender mercies of our Lord through the lives of these precious children," blog their parents. Their mother referred to them as ambassadors of love and considered herself blessed to be their host and caretaker. The viewing and funeral in Arizona tomorrow and Saturday is open to the public, and those who can't attend have so far left more than 30 pages of on-line condolences. The twins are survived by their parents and 4 siblings. They lived nearly 4 years, and the burial gowns long ago became their christening dresses. "Not only did they beat the odds with courage, but they did it with grace. They were happy, cuddly girls right up to the end,” said their grandfather.

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