Formerly Conjoined Twins Thriving after Separation Surgery

For Release: April 26, 2012

PALO ALTO, Calif.  Angelica Sabuco runs to kiss her sister Angelina on the cheek, and then runs away giggling. Angelina squeals and starts chasing her twin around the grass, determined to get her kiss in, too. It’s hard to believe that a short while ago, these same two girls were struggling to even walk, and facing an uncertain future.

Angelina (“Inah”) and Angelica (“Icah”) were originally born in the Philippines, joined at the chest and abdomen, with livers, diaphragms and breast bones all fused. After a year of detailed planning and preparation—and involvement from nearly every service in the hospital--the sisters were separated at Packard Children’s in a 10-hour surgery on November 1, 2011. They had a joyful homecoming just two weeks later, and celebrated an unforgettable Christmas.

“They have really bounced back,” said lead surgeon Gary Hartman, MD, of his sixth conjoined twins surgery. “Each time I see them in the clinic, they are more mobile and better adjusted. It’s been a very smooth recovery.”

“They love to run around, go out, and play with other children now,” said mother Ginady Sabuco. “We are so grateful to Packard Children’s.”

The twins are re-expressing their distinct personalities—Icah the talkative one; Inah the quieter sister. They recently enjoyed their first-ever Easter egg hunt, and are looking forward to a 3rd birthday party in August—the first one as two separate little girls. “That is a great birthday gift!” said Ginady.

As part of their recovery, the girls had physical and occupational therapy to build their strength, endurance, gross- and fine-motor skills. They also continue to see Hartman and plastic surgeon Peter Lorenz, MD, to monitor the healing of their abdomens and chests

“They are healing right on track,” said Lorenz, who implanted a custom-made resorbable plate in each girl's chest where the sternum should be. The plates are expected to dissolve later this year as the grafted bones fuse. “We expect their chests to become more normally shaped as they grow, and have already seen a good improvement,” added Lorenz.

Meanwhile, Icah and Inah continue to enjoy new ‘firsts’ being separated. “I love seeing them and knowing that they are now living life as normal two-year-olds,” said Hartman. “That has been our goal all along.”

Who:  Meet formerly conjoined twins Angelina and Angelica, their surgeons, and mom Ginady.

What: The twins will share an update on their recovery along with photo and video opportunities.

When:  April 30, 12:00 to 1:00pm.

Where: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, 725 Welch Road, Palo Alto, Calif.


Reena Mukamal

Kelly Frank

(650) 646-1126

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Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at