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The girls were born Oct. 3, looking face-to-face and connected from the lower part of their breast bones to their belly buttons.FORT WORTH, Texas — In Cook Children’s Medical Center’s 105-year history, its doctors had never performed a separation surgery for conjoined twins.That is, until Monday.Sisters A...
The girls were born Oct. 3, looking face-to-face and connected from the lower part of their breast bones to their belly buttons.
FORT WORTH, Texas — In Cook Children’s Medical Center’s 105-year history, its doctors had never performed a separation surgery for conjoined twins.
That is, until Monday.
Sisters AmieLynn and JamieLyn Rae Finley were born conjoined in October 2022, hospital staff announced at a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
Monday’s operation spanned 11 hours and included 25 different medical professionals, including six surgeons.
Both twins, staff said, are recovering well.
“The separation surgery will give AmieLynn and JamieLynn better opportunities to improve their health and development, and to grow as the unique, individual little girls that they have been since birth, regardless of their physical connection as conjoined twins,” said Jose L. Iglesias, M.D., medical director of Pediatric Surgery at Cook Children’s Medical Center and the lead surgeon for twins’ surgery.
Conjoined twins are very rare. Hospital staff estimate conjoined twins occur 1 - in- 200,000 live-births and say only 5 to 8 conjoined twins worldwide survive the first days after birth.
The girls were born Oct. 3, looking face-to-face and connected from the lower part of their breast bones to their belly buttons. They also shared a liver, and collectively, weighed just 4 pounds, 7.8 ounces.
The surgery took months of preparation. The team at Cook Children’s studied the girls’ scans, built models of their anatomy, mapped out potential surgical solutions and rehearsed the surgery, doctors said.
“At this stage in AmieLynn and JamieLynn’s growth and development, this was the right time for them to have the surgery,” said Dr. Mary Frances Lynch, neonatologist at Cook Children’s Medical Center.
The surgery was so intense each twin needed its own full team, doctors added. During the surgery, doctors, nurses and technicians were separated into two teams, one for each twin.
JamileLynn’s team wore purple scrub hats, and AmieLynn’s team wore green scrub hats. Both girls had their nails painted, accordingly.
During the news conference, the girls’ parents, James Finley and Amanda Arciniega addressed reporters. Arciniega had tears in her eyes, saying she was too emotional to speak.
She did say, though, through tears, that she told her girls, “mommy’s here,” as soon as she was able to see them post-op.
“We’ve learned to be strong,” Finley said. “We were like, ‘Woah, why us? Why did God choose us to be these girls’ parents?’ And I pray, we have faith… we just had to walk through the steps.”
And if there was any doubt, Finley assured the crowd Wednesday his girls are like all twins.
“They fight a lot,” he laughed.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After a week idle, the West Virginia University women's basketball team (13-5, 4-3 Big 12) hits the road for a rematch with TCU on Saturday, Jan. 28, in Fort Worth, Texas. Tipoff against the Horned Frogs is tabbed for 2 p.m. ET, inside Schollmaier Arena.Wednesday's contest against TCU will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with John Liddle and Whitney Hand-Jones on the call. The game also can be heard on the Varsity Network app, with Andrew Caridi on the call. Live stats and game notes will be available o...
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After a week idle, the West Virginia University women's basketball team (13-5, 4-3 Big 12) hits the road for a rematch with TCU on Saturday, Jan. 28, in Fort Worth, Texas. Tipoff against the Horned Frogs is tabbed for 2 p.m. ET, inside Schollmaier Arena.
Wednesday's contest against TCU will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with John Liddle and Whitney Hand-Jones on the call. The game also can be heard on the Varsity Network app, with Andrew Caridi on the call. Live stats and game notes will be available on WVUsports.com.
West Virginia is 20-5 all time against TCU, including 8-3 in games played in Fort Worth. Additionally, the Mountaineers have won nine of their last 10 matchups with the Horned Frogs, dating back to Feb. 24, 2016, in Fort Worth (73-63). During that stretch, WVU has only allowed TCU to eclipse 70 points twice and is holding the Horned Frogs to 58.2 points per game.
Most recently, WVU claimed the two teams' first meeting this season with a 77-45 win on Jan. 10, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. Fifth-year senior guard Madisen Smith led the team with 18 points, while junior guard Savannah Samuel (13) and sophomore guard JJ Quinerly (11) joined Smith in double figures.
TCU enters Wednesday's matchup with an overall record of 6-13 and 0-8 in Big 12 play. The Horned Frogs are coming off a 75-35 loss to No. 18 Iowa State on Jan. 25, in Fort Worth.
Last time out, West Virginia topped Texas Tech, 67-57, inside the WVU Coliseum on Jan. 21. Senior guard Jayla Hemingway posted her third double-double (18 pts., 10 reb.) of the season, while Quinerly (16 pts., 10 reb.) earned the first double-double of her career. Elsewhere, Smith also scored in double figures with 17 points, as the trio attributed for 51 of WVU's 67 points.
As a team, West Virginia struggled from the floor, shooting just 32.1% (18-of-56) overall and 27.6% (8-of-29) from beyond the arc.
Entering Saturday's contest, West Virginia ranks second in the Big 12 Conference in scoring defense, as it is holding opponents to just 57.5 points per game this season. WVU ranks No. 43 nationally in the category. The Mountaineers also lead the league in turnover margin (8.06) and steals per game (10.6). Additionally, WVU is second in the league in turnovers forced per game (20.94).
Send scores and updates to [email protected] 72, Byron Nelson 51McNeese State bound shooting guard Parker Hannah erupted for 31 points and hit seven 3-pointers as the Indians ran past the Bobcats in District 4-6A.The win put Keller, No. 21 in the Class 6A state rankings, into sole possession of first place in the district standings with an 8-1 record while Byron, No. 20 in the state, fell to 7-2.The season series is tied 1-1 with five games left. Byron beat Keller at Keller the first time, 81-...
Send scores and updates to [email protected]
Keller 72, Byron Nelson 51
McNeese State bound shooting guard Parker Hannah erupted for 31 points and hit seven 3-pointers as the Indians ran past the Bobcats in District 4-6A.
The win put Keller, No. 21 in the Class 6A state rankings, into sole possession of first place in the district standings with an 8-1 record while Byron, No. 20 in the state, fell to 7-2.
The season series is tied 1-1 with five games left. Byron beat Keller at Keller the first time, 81-66.
Keller (18-10 overall) meant business at the jump, allowing most of Byron’s points at the free throw line. Brooks Bahr, who scored 13 points in the first half, hit a jumper that put Keller on top 16-4 in the first quarter.
Byron made one field goal in the period and Keller led 16-6 after the first quarter. Bahr assisted on a Rhett Schank layup with under a minute left on the clock.
Byron 4-star guard Finley Bizjack (Butler bound) did score 26, but had to fight for most of his points. Bizjack, who is the No. 1 ranked Fort Worth-area player, also leads the area with 29.7 points per game.
Bizjack didn’t make a field goal in the first quarter and made only two in the first half. 12 of his 26 points came from the charity stripe.
The Bobcats (23-5) did score the first four points of the second quarter to cut the deficit in half at 16-8, but Bahr made a free throw then nailed a three to make it 20-8.
Hannah hit one of his three 3-pointers in the second quarter, and Hannah hit Cooper Guerra in the fast break and Keller was up 17. The lead extended to 30-10 with 3:19 left in the second on another Hannah trey.
Bizjack converted a 3-point play to Hannah’s third three helped Keller double up on Byron at 38-19. The Indians went into the break leading by that same score.
Hannah hit a three from the wing in the third quarter and the lead was 41-19. Brayden Alward converted a Jonah Breeden assist to get Byron within 45-25.
Jacob MacDonald’s three got the Bobcats under 20 points for the first time since the second quarter. But Bahr hit a step back jumper and had a 3-point play and Keller was up 54-29 after three.
Keller 72, Byron Nelson 51
Parker-Tarrant HS 80, Weatherford Express 44
Poly 55, Southwest 52
Carter Riverside 70, DHJ 32
Argle 39, Birdville 34
Haltom 64, Fossil Ridge 61
Lubbock Christian 64, Temple Christian 45
Whitesboro 40, Boyd 36
Brewer 57, Saginaw 32
Alvarado 47, Hillsboro 37
Grace Prep 76, Covenant 59
Peaster 55, Early 19
Castleberry 69, Bridgeport 62
Paschal 56, Boswell 34
Timber Creek 49, Eaton 48
Dunbar 52, Eastern Hills 43
Timberview 73, Heritage 53
Seguin 54, Centennial 44
Mansfield 53, Lake Ridge 43
Granbury 46, Rider 37
Liberty Christian 77, SCS 59
Martin 81, Lamar 53
Richland 57, Colleyville 54
Keller 64, Byron Nelson 51
Four players on Keller scored in double figures as the Indians completed the season sweep over the Bobcats in 4-6A.
Keller improved to 22-8 overall and 9-2 in district, and clinched a playoff berth. Byron falls to 15-14 and 7-4, in a tie for third place with Fossil Ridge with three games left.
Rebakah Graves hit Mallory McQuietor on back to back possessions and Keller had an early 12-9 lead. Kinsey Morris hit a deep Byron three and the lead was down to 14-12.
Jaeden Gillam got a steal and assisted on a Renee Chmiel layup and Keller led 18-12 after one.
Five quick points from Gillam and the Indians lead grew to 23-14 midway through the second. Morris hit another three for the Bobcats, but the lead went back to 10 with two minutes on the clock. A three from Gillam gave Keller its largest lead of 13. Jessica Makayabo hit a late layup for the Bobcats and the Keller lead was 33-23 at intermission.
Ella Whitacre hit a corner three and a free throw from Makayabo made it a five-point game in the third. Bele Ratliff converted a 3-point play, but Keller finished the quarter strong and led by nine.
Graves found McQuietor in the low post and the lead was back up to 13. McQuietor scored 14 points while Chmiel and Gillam had 17 apeice. Graves chipped in 10.
Ratliff led all scorers with 21 for Byron.
Grandview 43, Keene 32
Argyle 61, Birdville 16
Brownwood 39, Mineral Wells 29
Colleyville 53, Richland 32
Immanuel Christian 61, MW Community Christian 44
Granbury 38, Rider 29
Carroll 64, Central 35
Keller 64, Byron Nelson 51
LCCS 51, Midland Classical 42
SGP 60, Sam Houston 42
Whitesboro 65, Boyd 20
FWC 52, Midland Christian 40
Lake Ridge 60, Mansfield 26
Hamilton 64, Rio Vista 17
Northwest 45, Azle 36
Brock 55, Comanche 43
Bridgeport 67, Castleberry 20
Alvarado 79, Hillsboro 53
Peaster 89, Early 29
Decatur 73, Springtown 33
Kennedale 58, Godley 50
Brewer 62, Saginaw 53
Fossil Ridge 57, Haltom 41
Dunbar 39, Eastern Hills 37
Timberview 71, Heritage 56
Boswell 64, Paschal 33
Midlothian 49, Joshua 36
Centennial 56, Seguin 23
Skyline 63, Legacy 54
Life 62, Venus 23
Weatherford 45, Chisholm Trail 24
Southwest 38, Poly 30
North Side 29, South Hills 26
North Crowley 48, Trinity 24
Liberty Christian 75, SCS 17
Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth says they successfully separated their first set of conjoined twins on Monday, 16-week-old sisters AmieLynn Finley and JamieLynn Finley, of Saginaw.During a news conference Wednesday, the hospital identified the girls' paren...
During a news conference Wednesday, the hospital identified the girls' parents as Amanda Arciniega and James Finley and said they were "overjoyed to reunite with their girls and see them in their separate cribs, laying on their backs for the first time on Monday evening."
The hospital said doctors are optimistic about the twins' recovery and said that as they heal over the next few days their primary focus will be on breathing support and pain control.
The 11-hour separation surgery, described by the hospital as "rare" and "groundbreaking," was the first of its kind for the children's hospital. During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, the medical team shared their insights into the procedure and discussed the monthslong preparations that went into planning the surgery after confirming the girls were conjoined.
The hospital said Amanda and James learned that their fourth child was actually twins during a 10-week ultrasound. The ultrasound also revealed the babies had little or no separation between them. During a subsequent appointment, it was confirmed the babies were conjoined.
Over the course of her pregnancy, Amanda met with many specialists and learned her children each had their own heart and heart sac, increasing their chances of survival and making them candidates for separation. The girls were born prematurely via C-section at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth on Oct. 3, 2022, at 34 weeks, weighing 4 pounds and 7.8 ounces.
The twins are considered omphalopagus twins, meaning they were joined at the abdomen and shared one or more internal organs. In their specific case, they were face to face and were joined from the lower part of their breastbone to their belly button. The girls also shared a liver.
On the day of the surgery, the expansive team of medical professionals consisted of three anesthesiologists, four pediatric surgeons, two plastic surgeons and 18 other clinical professionals.
The team was separated into two teams, one for each girl. Those in purple scrub hats were on JamieLynn’s team, while Team AmieLynn wore green scrub hats, and all items associated with their surgery in the twins’ care were color-coordinated accordingly, even the girls’ nails were painted in coordinating colors.
"The team comprises dozens of medical experts from across multiple specialties. They collaborated on this procedure, leveraging the team's expertise in treating the most difficult and complex pediatric conditions," the hospital said.
An emotional video played during a news conference showed the preparation and process of the separation.
Doctors said it took five hours from the time the surgical teamed rolled into the surgery room to the time the twins were separated. It took another six hours to evaluate the girls for any additional anomalies and to close their chests and abdomens.
At about 6 p.m., Amanda and James got the good news that the surgery was complete and that their daughters were in different cribs.
“We did it,” Finley is quoted as saying in response. “I don’t know what I did, but we did it.”
The hospital said there are still some unknowns regarding the girls' recovery, including how their bodies will respond to no longer sharing some vasculature and anatomy.
“At this stage in AmieLynn and JamieLynn’s growth and development, this was the right time for them to have the surgery,” said Dr. Mary Frances Lynch, a neonatologist at Cook Children’s Medical Center. “Separation now will benefit AmieLynn and JamieLynn by allowing them to continue reaching important growth and development milestones in their individual health journeys.”
The emotionally overwhelmed parents shared their excitement about the successful surgery. The father of the girls said he wore a Superman shirt in honor of their strength.
"Sometimes I feel like I need to be the strength and pillar of my family and that's what I am," said James. "We didn't think it was gonna happen. A lot of doctors told us that a lot of conjoined twins don't live that long."
The hospital said AmieLynn and JamieLynn will continue to receive care from Cook Children’s Medical Center’s neonatology and NICU teams, focusing on their healing and continued growth and development.
Bishop TD Jakes, who spoke before the news conference, met with the family and called for prayers for the children on Sunday afternoon.
Cook Children's said it's estimated that conjoined twins occur in 1-in-200,000 live births and that only five to eight conjoined twins worldwide survive the first few days after birth.
This is at least the third set of conjoined twins separated in North Texas children's hospitals.
In October 2003, two 1-year-old Egyptian boys, Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim were conjoined at the head and were separated during a 34-hour surgery at Children's Medical Center in Dallas. The boys eventually returned to Egypt but periodically returned to North Texas for subsequent procedures and checkups.
Ten years later, in August 2013, Owen and Emmett Ezell, born conjoined on July 17 and connected from the chest to the belly button, shared a liver and intestines. The boys underwent a successful 6-hour separation surgery at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas.
Some portions of this article were obtained from prior Associated Press reports or from a statement provided by Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth.
The Texas A&M University System’s downtown research campus, officially named Texas A&M-Fort Worth, is moving quickly toward construction as the anchor project for a technology and innovation district planned around the redevelopment of the city’s convention center.The three-building complex, to be built on four blocks at the site of the Texas A&M School of Law, will provide a range of programs offered by Texas A&M University, Tarleton State University, and several A&M System agencies.On Thursday,...
The Texas A&M University System’s downtown research campus, officially named Texas A&M-Fort Worth, is moving quickly toward construction as the anchor project for a technology and innovation district planned around the redevelopment of the city’s convention center.
The three-building complex, to be built on four blocks at the site of the Texas A&M School of Law, will provide a range of programs offered by Texas A&M University, Tarleton State University, and several A&M System agencies.
On Thursday, Chancellor John Sharp and a team of university and agency leaders briefed the news media and an audience of supporters at the A&M System’s temporary offices in Burnett Plaza. Sharp also introduced the team of architects and construction managers who have been selected to begin construction later this summer on its first building, the Law & Education Building.
“A top-10 public research institution ensures Fort Worth’s future is rooted in the next economy driven by an educated workforce, whether it be lawyers, engineers, health care professionals or technology workers whose jobs don’t even exist today,” said Chancellor Sharp. “Thanks to our partners, the city of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, the Texas A&M System is investing in a unique public-private sector endeavor that will be a magnet for economic growth for the North Texas region.”
Two years ago, Fort Worth and Tarrant County officials, along with representatives of the business community, invited the Texas A&M System to bring its research and academic prowess to the city. Fort Worth is the largest Texas city without a significant presence by a large public research university.
The high-rise complex will include classrooms, labs, and flexible research and maker spaces that can be used by the public and private sectors for academic programs, workforce training and collaborative research in the fields of engineering, emergency management communications, agriculture, health sciences and visualization, among others.
The Texas A&M System will construct the Law & Education Building, which is expected to be completed in 2025. It will be financed with bonds backed by the Permanent University Fund and other sources.
The other two facilities, the Research and Innovation building and the Gateway conference center and offices, will be financed with city-issued bonds secured by leases to the A&M System and private sector development firms.
A developer, who is yet to be chosen, will be responsible for developing and leasing the space for the private firms. Start dates for the two buildings have not been announced.
This unique financing system will allow the campus to be constructed in about a third of the 15 years it would take for the A&M System to do it alone.
Once completed, this innovation and technology hub will allow research, workforce training and academic programs to be offered throughout the community as well as at the campus.
For example, the Texas A&M System already has master research agreements with several of Fort Worth’s larger employers.
Also, the Texas A&M College of Engineering has created an engineering academy at Tarrant County College where students can take two years of engineering courses taught by A&M professors before transferring to College Station. The academy allows students to save money by taking basic courses at the community college and living at home for the first two years of college.
At Thursday’s event, Chancellor Sharp also introduced the design team for the Law & Education Building: Stantec will serve as the architect of record and provide lab planning services on the project working in partnership with the design architect, Pelli Clarke & Partners.
“Our team is committed to designing high-performing, flexible spaces that meet the needs of modern education,” said Dan Caren, principal at Stantec. “We’re excited to work closely with Texas A&M, Pelli Clarke, and all the project stakeholders to create a future-focused learning environment that will help students grow and become experts in their professional fields.”
William Butler, Design Partner at Pelli Clarke & Partners, said, “Aside from providing a state-of-the-art space for education, collaboration, and innovation, the Texas A&M Fort Worth Law and Education building will serve as a catalyst for Downtown Fort Worth’s next chapter.”
The construction management teams consists of Turner Construction Company, CARCON Industries, Source Building Group Inc., and Dikita Enterprises.
“Turner and our partners look forward to partnering with the Texas A&M System in supporting your effort to develop the plan and vision for the Fort Worth campus while utilizing our team’s full resources and proven best practices to maximize opportunities for HUBs and local Fort Worth trade contractors,” said Andy Tandon, Vice President & General Manager for Turner Construction.