Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Hosts Sneak Preview Quinceanera Celebration for Formerly Conjoined Guatemalan Twins Josie Hull and Teresa Cajas

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Doctors, nurses and staff at Children’s
Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA)
got a special treat earlier this week –
a sneak preview of the Quinceanera gowns worn by two very special
patients – formerly conjoined twins Josie Hull and Teresa Cajas.


This weekend, Josie and Teresa will be the stars of their coming of age
celebration, the Quinceanera, which marks the transition from childhood
to womanhood when young ladies turn 15 in the Latin community. “I’m
really excited about our party,” Josie says. “We’re having cake, candy,
a photo booth and an In-N-Out truck.”

Milestones like these are special for the twins. Born in Guatemala on
July 25, 2001, conjoined twins Josie and Teresa, nicknamed the two
Marias, were joined at the skull and the outlook was not optimistic. But
shortly after their first birthdays, a 23-hour separation surgery took
place on Aug. 5, 2002 at a Los Angeles hospital. In 2004, the sisters’
care was transferred to CHLA, where they have collectively undergone 32
surgeries and procedures by pediatric specialists in neurosurgery,
orthopaedics,
neurology
and plastic
and maxillofacial surgery
. “It has been a more difficult road for
Teresa,” says Jenny Hull, Josie’s mother. “We’re just so glad because we
were not sure the girls would make it to 15.”

When the twins came to Children’s Hospital for the sneak preview, they
were outfitted in their Quinceanera gowns and greeted hospital staff
with smiles and hugs. Josie sang songs with friends and family, served
cake to CHLA staff and both girls posed for pictures on the red carpet.
“So many doctors and nurses have helped us do so much and now I get to
do dance competitions, sing and swim because of them,” Josie says.

“They’re an inspiration to the medical teams helping them,” says Mark
Urata
, MD, chief of CHLA’s Division of Plastic and Maxillofacial
Surgery and a member of the surgical team that separated Josie and
Teresa in 2002. “At the time, separation surgery was uncommon, and the
prognosis for conjoined twins like Josie and Teresa was uncertain. If
one gets ill, the other could get sick too, so the statistics aren’t
very strong for having a long life as conjoined twins. I think the
separation has been a life-altering experience for them.”

Contacts

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Lorenzo Benet, 323-361-4823
lbenet@chla.usc.edu