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Formerly Conjoined Twins Wow Family’s Longtime Sutter Pediatrician

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Children's Services, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter Roseville Medical Center | 0 comments

ROSEVILLE, Calif. – Roseville pediatrician Eswari Prakasam, M.D., was ready to check in the ears of 2-year-old Eva Sandoval, one of the formerly conjoined twins from Antelope.

Former conjoined twin Erika Sandoval, right, smiles while wearing bunny ears as her twin Eva’s real ears are checked by Sutter Medical Foundation pediatrician Eswari Prakasam, M.D.

“What’s in your ears?” she asked Eva. Her mother, Aida Sandoval, added, “Is it Goofy?”

“Nooooo,” Eva said with a huge smile.

It was Eva and twin Erika’s first visit to the Sandoval family’s longtime pediatrician since the two were surgically separated in December. And after the hour-long check-up, Dr. Prakasam gave the twins two big thumbs-up.

“They’re doing great,” Dr. Prakasam said. “They’re healing well and there’s absolutely no concerns of their mental capabilities. In fact, I’d say they’re a little advanced. They know and say stuff that’s more like a 3-year-old than a 2-year-old.”

Sure enough, while waiting for Dr. Prakasam to start the check-up, Eva was pointing to the necklace on “Frozen’s” Elsa, and Mom asked her what it is. “Amulet,” she said clearly. And the joke of the visit was asking Erika to spell her name: She’s says “E-R-I …” and then blows a raspberry.

The Sandoval twins, Erika, right, and Eva, are all smiles as they and Mom Aida are ready for their check-up with Dr. Prakasam.

Dr. Prakasam said she asked Aida why they know so much. “That’s what they did all day long in the hospital, they learned,” Dr. Prakasam said. “The mom is awesome.”

The sisters, born conjoined from the chest down, were separated during a 17-hour surgery on Dec. 6 at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. A team of 50 specialists split their shared pelvis, liver and digestive system, and removed the third leg they once shared. Each girl now has one leg but a full set of organs.

While the duo still will see a bevy of specialists, they will receive their primary medical treatment at Sutter Health. This suits Mom just fine, as she has received excellent care for the past 14 years for her five children at Sutter, she says.

Next up for the twins is being fitted for special wheelchairs and then an appearance on “Nightline.”

“They love scooting,” Aida said, “but they can actually play on the ground with these wheelchairs.”

Sutter Medical Foundation is part of Sutter Health, one of the nation’s top five large health systems thanks to its integrated network of physician, employee and volunteer pioneers—more than 60,000 people strong. Rooted in Sutter Health’s not-for-profit mission, these team members partner to deliver exceptional care that feels personal. From physician offices to hospitals to outpatient care centers and home services, they proudly support and learn from the more than 3 million people in their care—nearly 1 percent of the U.S. population, in one of the most diverse and innovative regions in the world. Sutter pioneers adopt new technologies, make novel discoveries and embrace creative thinking to help patients and communities achieve their best health. From its street nurse program that provides check-ups for homeless people, to telemedicine-aided specialist consultations, to walk-in care clinics, to smart glass technology, the Sutter Health team goes beyond traditional models to make care more convenient and to nurture and empower people throughout their medical journey.

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Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Children's Services, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, Sutter Medical Foundation, Sutter Roseville Medical Center | 0 comments