South Richmond Rotary Club hosted formerly conjoined twins Maria and Teresa Tapia and their mom and aunt during a meeting in December. The family attended the meeting to thank the club, which sponsored their travel to Richmond through the World Pediatric Project (WPP).
In November, conjoined twins 18-month-old girls Maria Teresa and Teresa Maria from the Dominican Republic were successfully separated at Children’s Hospital of Richmond.
“They were conjoined at the chest and abdomen, sharing a liver and part of their gastro-intestinal system, preventing Maria from receiving the nutrition needed to grow and thrive,” said pediatric general surgeon Dr. David Lanning.
WPP was notified about the case through partners in the Dominican Republic and presented it to Lanning, a long-time WPP volunteer. Lanning and VCU accepted the case.
Presentations were made by Chris Carney, Chairman of the Board of Directors, World Pediatric Project; Babs Jackson, Executive Director of The Hospital Hospitality House (where the family stayed during their time in Richmond); Dr. David Lanning, lead surgeon on the twins’ case and WPP volunteer; Jennifer Curtis (Director of Communications) and Rocio Watson (Program Director), WPP staff members who were highly involved in the twins’ case.
“Without the generous support of WPP volunteers, funding by South Richmond Rotary and [our] partner hospital, the twins’ family would not have had access to the advanced medical care and expertise needed for separation,” said Susan Rickman, president of the World Pediatric Project. “We are most grateful for the many people who came together to help these girls and their family.”