A formerly conjoined twin is finally following in the footsteps of her sister and going home after spending 482 days in the hospital.
Hope Elizabeth Richards, was discharged while wearing an identical multicolored pastel dress to her sister, Anna Grace, who was discharged about a month-and-a-half earlier.
To ease her transition leaving the hospital, Hope, who continues to use a ventilator after her tracheostomy, was taken home by ambulance.
"This is the moment it all feels real," their mom Jill Richards said as they left the Texas Children’s Hospital. "We are so excited for Hope to join Anna and her brothers at home."
Hope and Anna were born on December 29, 2016 at a combined weight of 9 pounds, 12 ounces.
The pair were conjoined at the chest and abdomen and shared a diaphragm, a liver and the lining of their heart.
"The moment the family knew they had conjoined twins, this has been a question in their mind: 'Are we ever going to get to this point? Is this day ever going to come?'" Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, of Texas Children's Hospital, said in a previous interview.
More than a year later, in January 2018, nearly 75 surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists and nurses were involved in a miracle surgery that separated the conjoined twins.
"These are the kind of procedures you plan for the worst and hope for the best," Olutoye said. "We were blessed that this was the best case scenario. Everything went very well."
Since the surgery, Olutoye said the twins have progressed very well.
"My hope is that these girls will grow up to have healthy lives, live productive lives," he said. "They'll come running in one day and I'll carry them up in my arms and say hello."
To support the family's mounting hospital bills, visit their GoFundMe page.