PALO ALTO, Calif. (CBS SF) — Formerly conjoined twins Eva and Erika Sandoval waved goodbye to the staff at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Friday taking major step toward returning to their Sacramento home.
The 2 1/2-year-olds were moved from Palo Alto to UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento Thursday.
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At UC Davis Children’s Hospital, the medical staff will focus on helping their mother — Aida Sandoval — and home care nurses learn to take care of them safely at home, and will keep building skills the girls still need, such as eating by mouth.
As infants, Erika and Eva required tube feeding. They still receive most of their nutrition via nasogastric tubes.
Aida Sandoval could hardly contain her joy.
“I’m over the moon,” she told the medical staff. “It’s still surreal seeing them separate, knowing that it’s still them as two individual bodies. Now we’re just waiting for their next chapter to begin, and the anticipation is indescribable.”
The two sisters were surgically separated during a 17-hour operation at the hospital on Dec. 6. Before surgery, the girls shared a bladder, liver, parts of their digestive system and a third leg.
“The girls have just blossomed in terms of personality,” said Dr. Gary Hartman, who led the 50-person surgical team. “They’re very engaging and chatty.”