MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s not very often a surgery takes months and months of preparation. But a team of dozens of doctors at the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital spent their spring preparing for just one surgery.

It was to separate twins Paislyn and Paisleigh, and it would require some technology developed right at the University of Minnesota.

Paisleigh and Paislyn each have their own room at Masonic Children’s Hospital, where they’re a favorite among the staff here.

But it was just a few months ago when these twins shared not only a hospital room, but a piece of their heart. They were conjoined from the chest to the belly button.

“I was in shock,” said Paris Bryan, the twin’s mother. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Paris and father, Ernesto Martinez, first learned about their daughters during an ultrasound.

“She just kept looking and looking,” said Paris. “I was looking at the screen and she was like ‘um, there’s two heads.’ I was in really big shock. “When I told him, it was just like ‘no, no.’”

Paisleigh and Paislyn spent three months, face to face, growing big enough to handle the separation surgery.

Although always together, the two had very different personalities.

“Paisleigh’s more of the chill person,” Paris said. “Relaxed, loves people.”

Paislyn loves attention and has from day one.

“She always tried to put her hands over her sister,” said Paris. “Like ‘Nope, you can’t get her, look at me.’”

When it came time for the separation, doctors warned Paris and Ernesto the surgery was risky; the twins were connected at their hearts and livers.

“It was … nerve wrecking,” said Ernesto. “The process was crazy.”

But doctors and surgeons had spent months preparing for this moment.

“Each girl had their own pediatric, surgical team,” Dr. Carrie George, Division Head of Pediatric Care at Masonic Children’s Hospital, said.

Using technology developed at the U of M, they were able to make a 3D Reconstruction of the baby’s hearts.

The entire team practiced the surgery eight times.

“It was a pretty amazing sight to see,” George said.

Finally, on the morning of May 25, everyone came together in one operating room.

“50-something people in the operating room that day, they had it covered,” Ernesto said. “It felt good to know that they had it covered.”

The surgery was scheduled to take 15 hours.

“It was really shocking, emotional time,” said Ernesto.

But only 9 hours in, good news from the surgical team: the surgery was a success.

“I don’t know,” said Ernesto. “I still get all emotional from it.”

For the first time, Mom and Dad could each hold one of their twin daughters.

“It’s very emotional and happy and just joyful and I love it, I really do,” said Paris. “I love seeing them every day.”

Paisleigh and Paislyn still have several months in the hospital left, which includes reconstructive surgeries and also surgery on Paislyn’s heart.

The family lives five hours away. They’re from Cass Lake, which is near Bemidji.
It’s not very often a surgery takes months and months of preparation. But a team of dozens of doctors at the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital spent their spring preparing for just one surgery.

It was to separate twins Paislyn and Paisleigh, and it would require some technology developed right at the University of Minnesota.

Paisleigh and Paislyn each have their own room at Masonic Children’s Hospital, where they’re a favorite among the staff here.

But it was just a few months ago when these twins shared not only a hospital room, but a piece of their heart. They were conjoined from the chest to the belly button.

“I was in shock,” said Paris Bryan, the twin’s mother. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Paris and father, Ernesto Martinez, first learned about their daughters during an ultrasound.

“She just kept looking and looking,” said Paris. “I was looking at the screen and she was like ‘um, there’s two heads.’ I was in really big shock. “When I told him, it was just like ‘no, no.’”

Paisleigh and Paislyn spent three months, face to face, growing big enough to handle the separation surgery.

Although always together, the two had very different personalities.

“Paisleigh’s more of the chill person,” Paris said. “Relaxed, loves people.”

Paislyn loves attention and has from day one.

“She always tried to put her hands over her sister,” said Paris. “Like ‘Nope, you can’t get her, look at me.’”

When it came time for the separation, doctors warned Paris and Ernesto the surgery was risky; the twins were connected at their hearts and livers.

“It was … nerve wrecking,” said Ernesto. “The process was crazy.”

But doctors and surgeons had spent months preparing for this moment.

“Each girl had their own pediatric, surgical team,” Dr. Carrie George, Division Head of Pediatric Care at Masonic Children’s Hospital, said.

Using technology developed at the U of M, they were able to make a 3D Reconstruction of the baby’s hearts.

The entire team practiced the surgery eight times.

“It was a pretty amazing sight to see,” George said.

Finally, on the morning of May 25, everyone came together in one operating room.

“50-something people in the operating room that day, they had it covered,” Ernesto said. “It felt good to know that they had it covered.”

The surgery was scheduled to take 15 hours.

“It was really shocking, emotional time,” said Ernesto.

But only 9 hours in, good news from the surgical team: the surgery was a success.

“I don’t know,” said Ernesto. “I still get all emotional from it.”

For the first time, Mom and Dad could each hold one of their twin daughters.

“It’s very emotional and happy and just joyful and I love it, I really do,” said Paris. “I love seeing them every day.”

Paisleigh and Paislyn still have several months in the hospital left, which includes reconstructive surgeries and also surgery on Paislyn’s heart.

The family lives five hours away. They’re from Cass Lake, which is near Bemidji.

Click here for the GoFundMe information on Paisleigh & Paislyn Martinez.

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