London, Dec 4 : Baby Hope Williams, one of two conjoined twins born in Britain last week, passed away on December 2 during an emergency operation to separate her from her sister Faith.
Baby Faith was said to be in a critical situation and the chances of survival had been put at 50-50 following the 11-hour operation, which had to be carried out sooner than planned, as the sisters' shared intestine had become blocked. Hope passed away at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London with her parents, Laura and Aled Williams, standing by her bedside.
Laura, 18, and her husband had refused to terminate the pregnancy and she became the world's youngest mother of conjoined twins, even though doctors had told her the twins would probably not live beyond two weeks.
Professor Agostino Pierro, head of the surgical team that separated the sisters, said Hope's lungs had proved too small to support her breathing, and Faith was in a stable condition and "gradually improving".
"This was an emergency operation because there was a blockage in their joined intestine which could only be resolved through separation," Times Online quoted him as saying.
"The technical surgery worked well - although it was extremely challenging - and went according to plan. However, very sadly, after separation baby Hope's lungs proved too small to support her breathing and she died last night in the presence of her parents. They are clearly devastated by the loss of their daughter and we offer them our deepest condolences on their loss.
"Baby Faith is stable after separation. She requires support for her breathing, but she is gradually improving. However, it is early days and complications can occur," he added.