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30 August 2016, 12:32
Conjoined twins from Kent who were born joined at the abdomen are now preparing to go to school for the first time.
Angela and Daniel Formosa from Bexleyheath were told their daughters Rosie and Ruby had a low chance of survival, and needed an emergency operation when they were born in 2012.
They were operated on by a specialist team at Great Ormond Street Hospital (Gosh) are now lead happy and healthy lives and are said to be "very excited" to be starting school like their big sister Lily, nine.
Mrs Formosa said: "Four years ago it wasn't in my mind that this would ever happen. When I was pregnant I didn't think I'd ever see their first day at school so it is really amazing and all thanks to Gosh really.''
Mrs Formosa said it was "heartbreaking'' when she discovered the girls had the rare medical condition - it accounts for one in every 200,000 live births.
"At 16 weeks they sent me to King's College Hospital and it was there that they discovered the connection between the girls,'' she said.
"I was already worried that they were monoamniotic (where twins share an amniotic sac), and conjoined was the worst-case scenario.
"I was really, really, really scared and really upset because at that point I was told that there was a high possibility that the girls wouldn't survive the pregnancy. And if they did survive the pregnancy they might not survive the birth, then they might not survive surgery.
"I didn't prepare to bring them home. It wasn't until they were in hospital and they'd had their operation that my husband started painting the bedroom and getting everything ready for them.''
The girls were born at University College Hospital in London by caesarean section when Mrs Formosa was 34 weeks pregnant.
Within a couple of hours of being born, they were taken to Gosh for emergency surgery because of an intestinal blockage.
Praising the staff at the world-renowned children's hospital, Mrs Formosa added: "They had a look and did scans and all sorts of tests and it wasn't until they got into surgery that they saw what was going on.
"It was on-the-spot decisions as to what was to be done.''
The operation to separate them took five hours and the girls were well enough to go home when they were just three weeks old.
Mrs Formosa says the girls, who are now four, are "bubbly, headstrong and very determined" and are looking forward to "painting and anything messy" at school.