Doctors at Bonheur Children’s Hospital have successfully separated conjoined twins, Joshua and Jacob Spates. The babies were 7 months old at the time of the surgery, joined at the lower spine, back to back with separate heads, hearts, arms and legs. The surgery was performed on the babies on August 29,2011.

Although the twins are doing well and can now see each other for the first time since their birth, Jacob will need additional surgeries.

Approximately 15 percent of conjoined twins are joined like Joshua and Jacob. Fewer than one third survive more than 24 hours after birth.

Doctors say that without the surgery the twins would not have survived more than another year or two. Jacob has a heart condition which is the reason for the decision to separate at this time. The hospital has high hopes of Jacob getting the treatment he needs for his heart condition. Both of Joshua and Jacob are expected to lead a normal life.

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