Quantcast

Twins reunite after one undergoes rare heart surgery

Children’s Healthcare of AtlantaBy GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN, ABC News

(ATLANTA) — Reunited and it feels so good for these tiny twin sisters.

Four-month-olds Justice and Journee Altidor have spent much of their short lives apart. But now, just in time for the holidays, they’re together once more.

“It’s a dream come true to have them reunited. I can’t imagine the separation anxiety they probably experienced being separated as soon as they were born,” their mother, Emanuella Altidor, told Good Morning America.

Prior to birth, Justice was diagnosed with a heart abnormality, a double aortic arch. She has been followed by cardiologists at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Heart Center since. She underwent her first open heart surgery at just 11 days old to repair her heart defect.

Despite surgery, she continued to experience trouble breathing from her collapsed airway and was placed on a ventilator. She needed an additional surgery, a 3D tracheal splint surgery.

On Oct. 6, Justice became what Children’s believes to be the youngest person ever to undergo this surgery. Only 30 have ever been done nationwide. The procedure involves surgically implanting a 3D printed Airway Support Device.

“Justice’s future is bright,” said Dr. April Landry, pediatric otolaryngologists at Children’s, who was one of two doctors to perform the surgery. “She will continue to be followed closely to monitor her breathing and eating, but she is expected to have a normal childhood.”

She called part of the procedure “humbling. With this technology, we are able to achieve outcomes that would not have been possible even five years ago.”

The girls’ mom said they “feed off of each other’s energy.”

“When one is happy and playful the other does the exact same thing,” Altidor told GMA. “Unfortunately, it also is true for crying too.”

With Justice finally home with her family, the family is looking forward to the upcoming holidays.

“We are looking forward to capturing all of their first moments together,” their mom said. “We love the holidays so we have a special outfits for every occasion.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.