After Two Years In Hospital, Doctors Finally Share Good News For Conjoined Twins

When Jill Richards went in for a routine ultrasound in 2016, she had no idea what kind of long, stressful journey she was about to embark on.

The procedure revealed she was pregnant with a pair of twin girls. Normally that’s a cause for celebration, but her unborn children were conjoined twins.

Right away, Richards and her family – including her husband Michael and their two sons – relocated from their home in North Texas to Houston, to be close to her pediatric surgeon.

Already, a team of doctors at the Texas Children’s Hospital were preparing for the birth.

Not just to care for the twins, but also for the dangerous surgery to separate them.

Texas Children’s Hospital

Richard gave birth to Anna Grace and Hope Richards in December of 2016.

The birth was a success, but the doctors could tell that dividing the twins with surgery would not be easy.

The girls, who weighed a combined 9 pounds, 12 ounces, shared a chest wall, heart lining, diaphragm, and liver.

Their bodies also posed a unique challenge for the doctors: the twin’s hearts were connected by a blood vessel that would have to be severed.

As the twins and their family waited for the operation, a team of doctors spent more than a year rehearsing and preparing for the risky procedure.

She Lost 178 Pounds After Undergoing A Controversial Procedure, Would You Have Done The Same?

For Kathleen Golding, her weight-loss journey began when she was very young.

“I remember being in the fourth grade and having to get a note from my pediatrician granting me permission to start Weight Watchers,” the 26-year-old shares with PEOPLE.

By the age of 21, she was struggling with anxiety and depression, which led her to turn to food to cope. This stress eating resulted in her gaining a hundred pounds by her 22nd birthday.

“I was stuck in a constant cycle of daily binging,” she admitted. “I was eating fast food for every meal and enormous quantities each time.”

At her highest weight she was 331 pounds on her 5″6″ figure.

Instagram

By August to 2015, she had enough of the constant struggle and started the process of getting gastric bypass surgery.

“The morning [I decided to do it] I turned down an offer from friends to go to an amusement park because I knew couldn’t fit in the ride seats, and the following Monday I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled to discuss diabetes medications,” she recalls.

Mom Warns Parents About The Schoolyard Craze That Nearly Killed Her 12-Year-Old Son

Kids are curious, but sometimes the things they do can get them into serious trouble. 12-year-old Freddie Webster was trying out the latest schoolyard trend with his friends, but it ended up sending him to the hospital for emergency surgery after causing damage that could have killed him.

Freddie had put a magnetic ball bearing into his mouth, and used another on the side of his cheek. He wanted to test the magnetic ability, but he accidentally swallowed them. He didn’t think much of it, and continued to try it again and again. In the end he ended up swallowing four of the powerful magnets.

It wasn’t until hours later that it started to hurt. The magnets in his stomach had started to do serious damage to his small bowel.

Cascade News

His mom, Sarah, revealed that she had found out about the first two, but not the second set.

“Freddie had swallowed the first two magnets at school on the Tuesday, and although I didn’t know at the time, he then swallowed two more later that day. He told me on the Wednesday that he had swallowed two magnets and at that time I thought they would just pass.”

His stomach started hurting the next day, but after two days of pain, he finally revealed that it had been much worse than his mother knew.

“On the Wednesday night he started with stomach ache, but by the Friday morning he told me that the stomach ache wouldn’t go away and he said it had kept him awake the night before.”

She called the doctor right away. “I rang the doctors on the Friday morning and I told them about swallowing the magnets. They asked how many he had swallowed, which is when Freddie told me it was four.”

They told her to go to the hospital immediately, because of the severe damage that the magnets could cause. They brought him in for an X-ray which revealed the dire truth of the situation…

Conjoined Twin Girls Separated At Texas Children’s Hospital

A set of conjoined twin girls have been successfully separated at a Texas Children’s Hospital.

For 13-month-old twin girls Anna Grace and Hope Elizabeth Richards they spent the beginning of their lives sharing a liver, diaphragm and part of their heart.

The girls spent much of their lives in the neonatal intensive care unit, until they had their seven-hour surgery to separate them in January 2018.

The twins are now recovering in their own beds at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

“We’ve thought about and prayed for this day for almost two years,” their mother, Jill Richards said, “it’s an indescribable feeling to look at our girls in two separate beds.”

90-Year-Old Surgeon Has No Plans On Retiring After 68 Years On The Job

An 90-year-old surgeon has no plans on slowing down despite an astounding workload.

Alla Ilyinichna Levushkina is the world’s oldest surgeon and has completed more than 10,000 operations in the past 68 years without a single fatality.

Standing at only 4 foot 9, Levushkina works at the Ryazan City Hospital near Moscow, Russia and performs at least four surgeries a day.

“Being a doctor isn’t just a profession but a lifestyle,” the surgeon told Lite FM. “If I stopped working, who is going to perform the surgeries?”

While the surgeon is single, she doesn’t live a lonely life. She lives in an apartment where she cares for her disabled nephew and has eight cats.

But despite her at home commitments, she said being a surgeon is her biggest motivation to keep on going.

After Doctors Told Him He Had Three Months To Live, He Lost Over 500 Pounds

Do you have a bad habit you’re trying to kick? It seems like every year in January, people try to devote their “New Year’s resolutions” to fixing something about themselves that they could probably be doing better on.

Brock Press

Maybe you feel like you’ve been spending too much time at work and not enough with your loved ones? It’s a pretty common worry, and fortunately the solution is pretty simple: start making more time for the people you care about! Similarly, another pretty common one is for people to be more assertive about what they want out of life.

New York Times

However, by far the most common resolution among people is to try to improve their health, and especially their weight. I guarantee you that if you go to the gym in the weeks following January 1st, you’ll find it beyond packed with tons of people who’ve decided they need to get in shape. Unfortunately, many of those people will stop after the first 10 days, but it’s important to keep going if you really want to see results.

Shaping Yourself

For Stanley Hollar from Indiana though, losing weight wasn’t a matter of wanting to better himself for New Year’s: it was after his doctors told him that if he didn’t change his lifestyle, he’d be dead in three months…

Mitt Romney Secretly Underwent Cancer Treatment

Each year in the United States, approximately 455 per 100,000 men get diagnosed with some form of cancer, and 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes, according to the National Cancer Institute.

This means that we all know someone, including celebrities, who already has or will have the disease. In the last few months, a number of well-known figures, including Bounty Hunter star Beth Chapman, Val Kilmer, Camille Grammer, and Senator John McCain have announced that they have cancer.

While these famous people are comfortable enough to share their diagnosis and open up about their battle against the awful disease, not all celebrities have done the same. This week, it was revealed that another U.S. politician has been battling cancer, and no one knew.

RawStory

According to the Associated Press, sources close to former presidential nominee Mitt Romney confirmed he was diagnosed and already underwent treatment.

So what’s his prognosis?

A Woman Suffered From Crohn’s Disease For Six Years, Only To Discover It Was Just Ketchup

From the time that we became toddlers, society has been telling us that there are things that you just shouldn’t put in your body. Whether it’s our favorite Fisher Price toy, a Hot Wheels car, crayons, or even Lego pieces, the man’s been telling us for years that those colorful bits of plastic aren’t as tasty as they look.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AuLkMBAFZg&w=854&h=480]

While most of us end up learning this lesson, it seems that every day there’s another adult who reverts back to being a 3-year-old and ends up with something in their body that really, REALLY shouldn’t be there.

Imgur

Whether it’s a man swallowing a Playmobil toy and it getting absorbed into his lungs, or a woman getting a piece of glitter stuck in her eye (only for it to be diagnosed as herpes), fewer and fewer people seem to be learning this important lesson that we all need to know. Worse still, these incidents have led to these people developing some pretty significant health issues.

Parenting Journals

However, this newest case has to take the cake. A woman had been suffering from Crohn’s disease, only for an x-ray to reveal that she had swallowed something she shouldn’t have, which was now stuck in her intestines…

Baby With Rare Birth Defect Gets His Smile Back After 9-Hour Surgery

Last year, Valeka Rigel gave birth to a healthy baby boy. But the new mom had to wait months before she could see her child’s smiling face.

That’s because her son Zakary had a birth defect so rare that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe just one in 12,200 babies are born with it.

A fetal MRI revealed Zakary’s birth defect.Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

The first sign that something was wrong came when the Riegel was five months pregnant. An ultrasound showed an unusual growth that doctors guessed was a cyst. After more tests, they realized it was actually an encephalocele.

Encephaloceles form when a baby’s skull doesn’t close properly. Brain tissue escapes through a gap in the skull bone, forming a pouch of skin outside the baby’s head. Zakary’s pouch formed right between his eyes.

“I just sat there and cried,” Riegel told Today about getting the news. “I said, ‘I don’t understand: I’m here for a facial cyst.’ I’m thinking a pimple.”

Zakary was born via C-section.Valeka Riegel

Doctors worried Zakary wouldn’t be born alive, and a team of 22 doctors at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital were assigned to look after Riegel. But thankfully, her C-section went smoothly. Apart from the mass, Zakary was totally healthy.

But it would take months of waiting and a grueling surgery to remove the growth from Zakary’s face.

Caitlyn Jenner Reveals She Didn’t Trust The Kardashians With Reassignment Surgery

Drama never creases in the Kardashian household, and today is no expection

For the past year, Cailtyn Jenner, 68, has created undeniable tension in her relationships with her former stepdaughters, climaxing after the release of her autobiography, The Secrets of My Life.

In her memoir, the gold medalist detailed her decision to transition from male to female in 2015.

Caitlyn’s negative depiction of her relationship with her ex-wife, Kris Jenner, had angered her daughters, Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian to the point where they broke off all ties with their stepfather – who had helped raise them since they were children.

During an interview on The View earlier this year, Kim dished on her estranged relationship with the I Am Cait star.

“At the end of the day, my mom and Caitlyn had a 25 year relationship… and you just have to have some respect for it… I don’t want to discredit [Caitlyn’s] feelings, or her account, but when all of us were there, witnessing something, and seeing things different, it was just a little bit surprising to me,” Kim said.

“She’ll always be my stepdad, and she’ll always be the person who raised me and taught me so much in life… She’ll always be a part of me, but have I talked to her in the last couple of months? No,” she added.

While their reality show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians covered the demise of their relationship in depth, Caitlyn has added more fuel to the fire when she discussed the secrecy of her transition with television personality, Piers Morgan.

Young Girl Survives Cancer Operation That Disemboweled Her But Saved Fertility

It was the worst news she could have heard at the time. 23-year-old Danielle Smalley was likely the youngest person to have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incredibly rare form of cancer.

The disease is known for being particularly aggressive, damaging internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and stomach-area. Typically, surgery is only done to mitigate the symptoms and not often successful.

The doctors believed that the cancer was due to her ingesting asbestos as a young child. They estimated it would have been around 20 years prior, meaning she was only a three-year-old at the time.

After running several tests, the hospital informed her that she needed treatment immediately, and that’s when she realized surgery was going to be an option. However, Danielle was given the chance to try an experimental new procedure that could potentially save her life.

But she was informed that there was a risk that she may never have children afterwards, and worse, there was no time to freeze any eggs.

“I was devastated, as I knew I wanted kids in the future, but knew I needed to have treatment quickly,” she said.

A Look Back At Our Happiest Moments From 2017

It’s still early into 2018, but by now we’ve had time to acquaint ourselves with the new year and breathe a collective sigh of relief that we are no longer in 2017.

It was a difficult year, with trials and tribulations, heartbreaks and scandals, and more than enough tragedy to fit inside a mere 365 days. But alongside those hard times, there were also brief moments of love and compassion.

These instances gave us hope when they happened, and even though we have a lot to expect from 2018, let’s take a look back at our happiest moments from last year and remember the good times as we move forward!

When one man found himself heartbroken over a recent breakup, he thought that his life was effectively over. As he dragged himself around the house, he came across someone hurting more than he was.

A sick, starving cat had found its way inside his home and into his new owners arms. The man took in the kitten and nursed him, and his broken heart, back to health. There really are everyday heroes out there!

A dance troupe of girls on the popular Britain’s Got Talent had big dreams to win the competition, but unlike most contestants just looking for fame, they had a heartfelt reason for reaching the top.

One member, 15-year-old Julia Carlile, had lived with scoliosis since she was six, and was going to use her prize money to pay for a surgery to correct her spine.

Unfortunately, the girls ended up finishing 9th in the final round, but their dream wasn’t over. Show host Simon Cowell decided that no one should be denied their good health, paying for her surgery out-of-pocket.

It was a deadly situation that only quick thinking could solve. When nine people were swept out to sea in a riptide, other swimmers could only watch helplessly as they were carried further away from shore.

The bystanders knew they had to do something, but couldn’t risk swimming out into the tide themselves. So instead, they linked their arms and waded themselves out to rescue the stragglers.

From there, expert swimmers paddled out to the drowning people and passed them back to shore. None of them died that day, thanks to their selfless efforts!

“Real Housewives” Star Camille Grammer Undergoes Surgery After Cancer Diagnosis

Camille Grammer, Real Wife of Beverly Hills cast member and ex-wife of Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer for the second time.

In 2013, the former dancer and model received news no one ever wants to hear: she had Stage 2 Endometrial Cancer, which affects the uterus.

She underwent a radical hysterectomy, and went into remission soon after what was described as “a significant recuperation period.”

ABC News

Apparently, Camille had been at a higher risk because of genetic issues. Thankfully she had been “diligent about regular check-ups and monitoring, which explains the early detection and rapid treatment.”

At the time, her rep told ABC News that Camille continues to urge “all women to be aware of genetic factors relating to women’s cancers and get regular check-ups.”

popculture.com

Camille spent the past few years spreading awareness about below-the-belt cancers, including endometrial and ovarian.

Four years since winning her fight against cancer, Camille has unfortunately been diagnosed with another form of cancer, and it was once again found below the belt.

She has recently opened up about the diagnosis in an interview with People magazine.

Baby Born With Heart Outside Her Body Undergoes First Surgery

A baby born with her heart outside of her body has survived a series of three risky operations.

Vanellope Hope Wilkins was born on Nov. 22 with no breast bone. She was delivered by caesarean section in Leicester, England, after her parents discovered she was suffering from the rare condition called ectopia cordis, BBC reports.

Vanellope’s parents, Naomi Findlay, 31, and Dean Wilkins, 41, said they were initially scared over their daughter’s diagnosis.

“It was a real shock when the ultrasound showed that her heart was outside her chest and scary because we didn’t know what would happen,” Findlay said.

Wilkins said when the condition was discovered, doctors advised the couple to terminate the pregnancy. The couple decided against it, as a blood test showed there were no chromosomal abnormalities.

“We were advised to have a termination and that the chances of survival were next to none – no one believed she was going to make it except us,” he said.

Findlay added she couldn’t abort her pregnancy in good conscience.

“To see, even at nine weeks, a heartbeat – no matter where it was. It was not something I was going to take away.” she said. “In a way her strength gave me a strength to keep going.”

Vanellope was delivered nearly a month early in an effort for doctors to mitigate the risk of her of infection and damage to the heart.

Less than an hour later, she was taken into her first surgery.

He’s Living His Dream Life, Just With Somebody Else’s Arms

It is all of our worst nightmares. Waking up one day with some pain that we can’t explain, and then watching it slowly turn into a medical emergency that shakes the fabric of our lives.

It’s going from having an infection that you didn’t realize was serious to being told by doctors that they have to amputate everything. All in one week.

This was the horror that faced William Lautzenheiser, who lost his arms at the elbows and both of his legs from the knees down. He was infected with an outbreak of group A strep infection, and before long was facing the dire consequences of the disease.

It spread to his organs and muscle tissue, breaking them down inside of his body until the skin began to rot and turn black.

“Absolutely dead,” said Lautzenheiser. “There was no feeling. There was no sensation.”

There was nothing that Lautzenheiser could do, except come to terms with his affliction and try to imagine his life as an amputee.

“It was a very challenging time,” Lautzenheiser said. “I felt like I was a newborn trying to get used to a body that just was totally unfamiliar.”

It was understandably difficult. How many of us can say that we could really be prepared to accept the loss of something so integral to how we picture ourselves? Our bodies are part of our person, and if we lose a part of that, we lose a part of what makes us “us.”

But when it comes to life’s hardships, all anyone can really do is learn to bear the weight of the consequences and solider on.

It took a lot for Lautzenheiser to reach that point, and it took much convincing until he let himself really begin to deal with it.

“I’m not going get my arms back. I’m not going get my legs back. This happened. I have to figure it out. And, really, the motto became, ‘Figure it out,’” he said.

That’s when he realized the absurdity of his whole situation, and was able to do the unimaginable, laugh about it.

Lautzenheiser said he managed to take stock of his life and found the ability to heal through humor.

From that point on, his life had taken a dramatic turn for the better!

Music Helped Deaf Boy Recover His Hearing And Become A Top Conductor

Robert Guy lived in silence for most of his young life. He was born 70% deaf, but he didn’t let that stop him from accomplishing his dreams. He spent much of his childhood in and out of hospitals, trying to help clear up his ears.

Guy said that “I started on the piano because I came from a musical family and my nana taught half of Llay village.” That was when they started to realize that something wasn’t right.

He hadn’t noticed that his hearing had been off because he knew no different. “When you’re young you just think that what you’re hearing is just normal. But other people at school started to realize.”

Guy was given a surgery that would change his life forever. They were able to operate on his ears and help bring back his hearing. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing after the surgery. “After the operation I wouldn’t get in the car because I was terrified of the engine,” he said.

But after everything settled and his hearing started to come back, he was able to take his life in an unexpected direction…

Burglars Steal Thousands Needed For Dog’s Surgery, But Strangers Come To The Rescue

Melissa Horstman was dealing with a very sick pup. Luckily, she had finally saved up enough money to get her boy, Prince, the surgery he so badly needed. Prince has bone cancer in his leg and he can barely move. He needs to have the leg amputated to help him be more comfortable, but obviously it is an expensive operation. After saving up, she was finally ready to bring him in for surgery, but then burglars broke into her home.

They took around $3,000 in cash and valuables, leaving her unable to afford the surgery. Horstman came home to find not only the cash missing, but also saw her poor pup surrounded by broken glass. The patio door had been smashed in, scattering glass all over their home. There was nothing Prince could do to stop it, but Horstman knows it could have been a lot worse.

“I’m just lucky they didn’t kill my dog,” Horstman said. She posted about the burglary on Facebook with the hope that they would be able to catch the thief, but instead her friends, family, and a bunch of strangers decided to step in and help her out…

Dog Undergoes “Sex Change” Surgery To Save Its Life

Every day we come across dozens of stories about abandoned or sheltered animals being given a second chance at life after being on the brink of death, but the story of how doctors saved Bishop the German Sheppard’s life is like no other.

The 7-year-old dog became extremely ill while living in a shelter in Chicago. When his condition started to worsen, he was taken to a veterinarian, who found stones in his bladder.

WISN

The vet informed staff at the Chicago Care and Animal Control that Bishop will require surgery to remove the stones, but the procedure would set them back $7,000. Unfortunately, the shelter couldn’t afford to cover this expense, so they scheduled an appointment to euthanize him a few days later.

That’s when the Wisconsin-based Woof Gang Rescue of Racine stepped up to the plate.

“They’re not disposable to us and if we have the option to save them, we’re going to do it,” Jodie Hoffman-Ruffalo, executive director of the organization, told WISN-TV.

The organization heard the shelter’s plea, and decided to take matters into their own hands, and help Bishop get the treatment he needed.

Selena Gomez Opens Up About Undergoing Second Surgery After Transplant Complications

In early September, singer Selena Gomez revealed in an Instagram post that she had undergone a kidney transplant over the summer, putting rumors about her sudden public disappearance to rest.

ChicagoNow

The former Disney star wrote that the surgery was needed to improve her overall health as she battled lupus, a debilitating autoimmune disease that affects around 1.5 million Americans.

“So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health,” the singer wrote.

She also revealed that her best friend, actress Francia Raisa, was the one who donated the kidney.

“…There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful best friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis,” Gomez continued.

Selena Gomez/Instagram

Gomez shared some photos of her post-surgery scars, but reassured her fans that she was recovering well and will be sharing more updates in the near future.

“I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you,” she added to the note. “Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery.”

Selena Gomez/Instagram

Now, nearly two months since coming clean to her fans about her surgery, Gomez stayed true to her word and offered up more details of her scary experience in her first interview since going under the knife.

Man With 3-Foot Penis Feels Like A New Man Following Life-Changing Surgery

A Kenyan man with a three foot penis and 11 pound testicles has gotten a new lease on life after undergoing a life-changing surgery.

For Horace Owiti Opiyo, otherwise known as Forence, his saga first began in 2006 when he first noticed a cyst on his genitals. He had it removed, but a year later the growth retaliated with a vengeance, growing 20 times the size of a regular penis, reports The Mirror. The aliment also affected his testicles, enlarging them to a staggering 11 lbs.

“I told my grandmother that I have been infected by a disease, but I’m not sure what it is. It could be a curse. I knew this was not God’s work, but the devil’s,” Forence said.

After being diagnosed with scrotal elephantiasis, the 20-year-old was forced to drop out of school, unable to lead a normal life.

“The pain became increasingly unbearable, so that I couldn’t even walk or sit. I walked as if I had bowed legs,” he said.

The disease can be caused by a mosquito bite injecting larvae into the circulatory system. It then grows into parasitic worms blocking the body’s drainage system, resulting into extensive swelling.

Forence
Barcroft Media

Unable to pay for reconstructive surgery, Forence tried to solve his problem by utilizing natural solutions, but all his attempts ultimately failed.