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Medical Alley Association serves the individuals and organizations that comprise Minnesota's health industry by influencing policy, fostering connections and providing critical intelligence to improve the quality of health around the world.

Medical Alley Association serves the individuals and organizations that comprise Minnesota's health industry by influencing policy, fostering connections and providing critical intelligence to improve the quality of health around the world.

Miracle in Medical Alley: Conjoined Twins Survive Long Odds Thanks To Innovative Treatment

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A common refrain heard at weddings is that of two hearts becoming one: A joining of two people, two families, two futures into one shared love. This time, however, the miracle isn’t making two into one, but rather one love into two. This story unfolds in Medical Alley because it took the absolute best the medical community has to offer to reach its happy ending.

The story of Paisleigh and Paislyn Martinez is truly astonishing, as the conjoined twins – who were born with joins in the heart, liver, and abdomen – are resting in separate hospital beds, gaining strength and beginning their lives apart thanks to the work of world-class surgical teams and decades of innovation that made their lives possible, all right here in Minnesota. Less than half of conjoined twins survive past the first 24 hours after birth, but the pair not only passed that mark, but were strong enough to give the team at the University of Minnesota time to come up with a plan that gave the twins a chance at separation. 

There are innumerable moving pieces within this story, but they all come together in the Medical Alley community; without any one of them, the ending could well have been very different. Medical science and medical technology can often feel very theoretical or even like science fiction at times, but in the case of the Martinez twins, advancements like 3D scanning and printing, augmented and virtual reality, and precision guidance were necessary to give them a fighting chance. Pairing truly outstanding pediatric surgeons with cutting-edge tools is a key element to this story: Both parts, working in harmony, have opened the door for more conjoined twins to survive separation.

This story underscores how critical the work being done in Medical Alley truly is. The community here makes advancements that aren’t just intellectually interesting, they improve lives – or, in cases like the Martinez twins, save them. We couldn’t be prouder to support this life-changing work and are deeply grateful to the people who have spent their careers making success stories like this possible!

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Photo: Kare 11

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