‘They are a miracle’: 5-month-old conjoined twins are beating the odds

A family in Texas is learning to navigate life with conjoined twin girls, who are now 5 months old. (Source: KLTV)
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 11:00 AM MST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV/Gray News) – An East Texas family is working through a struggle that’s hard to imagine. Their twin girls, born last August, are conjoined, sharing a heart and a liver with only a slim chance of surviving.

Driving the babies to doctor appointments is just one of many challenges faced by the family since no car seat exists that meets their unique need.

Nonetheless, the family has faith that they will find a way.

The family was told by doctors that the babies, Daletzy and Daleyza, wouldn’t survive the pregnancy and termination was the best option. But their mother, Norma Gaytan, said no.

“We said we would leave it in God’s hands and continue the pregnancy because one never knows what could happen after, and here are my babies. We decided not to end the pregnancy, because how were we going to end our babies’ lives?” Gaytan said.

Conjoined twins Daletzy and Daleyza are defying the odds, but won't be able to be separated.
Conjoined twins Daletzy and Daleyza are defying the odds, but won't be able to be separated.(Shanna-Kaye Photography/family photo)

The twins defied the odds and are alive at 5 months old, but it hasn’t been a smooth road. Daletzy is on a breathing tube and is slightly smaller than Daleyza.

The girls are under the hospice care of Dr. Amy Starr, a pediatrician with CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic. Starr said the twins can’t be separated because their heart is so malformed.

“Even with all the wonders of modern-day pediatric cardiovascular surgery, they don’t believe they can make a functional single heart for one kid, even taking parts out of both,” Starr said.

As the twins continue to live and grow, the question of transportation comes into play. The family needs a car seat that will accommodate them.

“Since they were born, we haven’t been able to take them anywhere. I would love to have a car seat for them to take them to church, or to the park with their brother, so they can see a different environment,” Gaytan said.

Starr and nurses have to travel to the home. Gaytan said the twins rode in an ambulance when going home from the hospital, but this isn’t an ideal solution.

There is currently only one car seat manufacturer located in Utah that could possibly make a custom car seat, but due to the twins being in Texas, they are not confident that there is a safe way to get them to Utah.

Still, the family isn’t ending the fight because they have faith.

“I feel grateful with God and very happy that my babies are here with me, and we have our faith set that we can come up with something,” Gaytan said. “For a reason, God has left them with us for this time. They are here for a reason, and we feel very blessed with them because they are a miracle.”

The family is seeking help from anyone who knows how to design, build or adapt a car seat for their children.