The conjoined twins from Pangasinan, Jerrylyn and Jennylyn, are now separate individuals after undergoing a surgery, which lasted for eight hours, at the Tzu Chi General Hospital in Hualien, Taiwan. They are currently going through a recovery period and will be back to the Philippines by April.
Finally, the twins Jennylyn and Jerrylyn from Bautista, Pangasinan are now individual baby girls, this after undergoing a successful operation in Taiwan on March 13.
The babies will reunite with their father, a farmer, and five-year-old sister in April, as soon as they have completely recovered.
The surgery, shouldered by Tzu Chi Foundation and conducted at its own hospital in Hualien, Taiwan, is the third pair of conjoined twins assisted by the Buddhist organization since 2003.
Jennylyn and Jerrylyn lived for a year and three months joining one stomach and liver. They were born on December 8, 2013.
Tzu Chi Foundation learned of the twins’ case in February 2013 through the PANDA Fire Brigade, a local fire volunteer’s group in Dagupan, Pangasinan. The Foundation immediately arranged for the twins’ surgery, supplementing them with basic nutrients to gain sufficient weight and helping the mother with their passports and visas among other pertinent documents for undergoing overseas surgical procedure.
They were brought to Taiwan in January this year where they underwent two months of continuous nutritional care to ensure that they are fit to survive the separation process.
After the surgery which lasted for almost eight hours, the mother Ludy de Guzman felt a surge of mixed emotions to see her babies as two people: one a quiet little girl and the other cheerful and fond of people surrounding them.
“Everyone here has been so supportive. I am deeply touched because they have cared for my babies really well,” says the 24-year-old mother.
Ludy was with Tzu Chi volunteers all the while that they were staying in Taiwan. At the moment, the twins are still recovering at the hospital’s intensive care unit.
Meanwhile, Lea and Rachel Awel who shared the same fate over ten years ago have sent their well-wishes for the younger twins. The Awels from Kalinga were the first to undergo the process of separation in 2003, the first case for Tzu Chi Foundation in the Philippines.
Now, Lea and Rachel are 13-year-olds, studying in a private school under a scholarship from Tzu Chi Foundation, their father employed and their mother a training Tzu Chi volunteer.
“Please be brave and we hope that you will grow strong and healthy,” say the Awel twins.
The second pair of conjoined twins separated through the help of Tzu Chi Foundation is Rose Carmelle and Rose Carmellete Molit who hail from Catmon, Cebu in June 2010. Tzu Chi’s liaison office in Cebu continues to support them with their studies.
Likewise, Tzu Chi Foundation will maintain its support to twins Jennylyn and Jerrylyn and their family even after they have come.