Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Celebration Marks Formerly Conjoined Twins’ Upcoming Quinceañera
Posted: Friday, August 5, 2016 – 2:36 PM
A crowd of Children’s Hospital Los Angele (CHLA) doctors, nurses, physical therapists and staff got a sneak preview of the quinceañera gowns Josie Hull and sister Teresa Cajas will wear at their upcoming quinceañera celebration later this weekend. The sisters also got a chance to thank the CHLA medical teams that have overseen their care for the past 12 years.
“I was so happy to see everybody today; and I’m really excited about our (quinceañera) party coming up,” says Josie. “So many doctors and nurses have helped us do so much and now I get to do dance competitions, sing and swim because of them.”
Says Mom Jenny Hull: “Because of the great care we get at Children’s Hospital, they get to survive and go out in the real world and really thrive. These girls bring hope and inspiration to so many.”
The sisters, who were born as conjoined twins connected at the skull and were separated in a 23-hour surgery in 2002 that made headlines around the globe, recently celebrated their 15th birthday, a milestone in the Latin community that is celebrated as the quinceañera, which marks the transition from childhood to womanhood.
At yesterday’s party, Josie Hull wore a fuchsia gown, while her sister Teresa Cajas wore one of lavender. The hospital treated them to two cakes – a pink frosting theme for Josie and a lavender for Teresa. During the hour-long event, the sisters, surrounded by friends and family, walked down a red carpet, posed for pictures in front of a step & repeat, and served cake to their family, friends and staff.
They were also visited by the many doctors, surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and staff who have cared for them through the years.
“Josie and Teresa looked beautiful today. It’s a privilege for all of us at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to be part of this momentous occasion in Josie and Teresa’s lives,” says Dr. Mark Urata, chief of the CHLA’s Division of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery. Urata, who was on the team that performed the separation surgery in 2002, is now part of multidisciplinary team overseeing the twins care at CHLA. “Josie, Teresa and their families are not only a tremendous inspiration to the teams of doctors, nurses, therapists treating them at CHLA, but also they have given back to our patients and families. These fabulous sisters, their friends and family have generously decorated more than 150 patient rooms for our kids.”
Born in Guatemala on July 25, 2001, conjoined twins Josie and Teresa, nicknamed the two Marias, were joined at the head. Shortly after their first birthdays, a 23-hour separation surgery took place on Aug. 5, 2002 at UCLA. The sisters require very complex follow-up care, and in 2004, the families transferred all their medical care to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and both girls have been treated by CHLA specialists ever since. In all, they have collectively undergone 32 surgeries at CHLA and been treated by physicians from the hospital’s divisions in neurosurgery, orthopaedics, neurology and plastic and maxillofacial surgery