Formerly-Conjoined Twin JamieLynn Discharged from Cook Children's NICU, Sister AmieLynn Stays to Recover
While Jamie is heading home to start this new chapter, Amie remains in Cook Children’s NICU. She is continuing to recover from a recent surgery.
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By Eline Wiggins
Five-month-old JamieLynn Finley is home in her own bed for the first time in her life.
In January, JamieLynn and AmieLynn made history as the first conjoined twins to be surgically separated at Cook Children’s. The girls were conjoined at the chest and shared a liver. Their 11-hour surgery involving a team of 25 medical professionals, including six surgeons, made headlines around the world.
On Tuesday, March 21, Jamie was discharged from Cook Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), nearly two months to the day of her separation. She left the hospital in a car seat with her parents, Amanda and James Finley, and Jamie’s three older siblings. It is a big day for the Finley family.
“We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” said the girls’ doctor, Mary Frances Lynch, M.D., neonatologist at Cook Children’s.
While Jamie is starting her new chapter at home, Amie is staying in Cook Children’s NICU for at least a few more weeks. Amie’s journey has been more difficult and she is continuing to recover from a recent surgery that improved her chest incision and created more space for her heart, diaphragm and lungs.
“There were some moments that were scary,” James said.
The twins will be away from each other until Amie can head home, which is expected to happen within a month or so. Jamie has recovered so well since the separation surgery, she’s currently bouncing and babbling to anyone who will listen. She’s going home with a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) to help with her feeding and continued growth. However, by all indications, she’s on her way to being a healthy and happy child.
“We’re excited that we get to get her home,” James said. “We’ll have some good bonding time, but at the same time, Amie is still up there so it’s kind of a double-edged sword. We’re happy Jamie is coming home, but they’re not going to be together for a bit.”
On Tuesday morning, Jamie and Amie laid side-by-side and took a ride in their red wagon as their mom Amanda pulled them down the NICU hallways.
“Hi, sugar pudding,” James smiled and said to the girls.
The girls are growing up fast and hitting their milestones. Jamie is about to start rolling over, Amanda said. Amie says “hello” and both girls do their best to talk.
Amanda joked that Jamie will miss all the attention she gets from the nurses and health care workers in the NICU.
At home, Amanda is excited to hold the girls in their new rocking chair. The girls have many new friends waiting to meet them too, including Amanda and James’ neighbors.
Between their three older siblings, family and neighbors, the girls will be showered with lots of love inside their own home and in their new nursery.
“Everybody is ready to see them,” James said.