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WALES: Second conjoined twin Faith dies.

Byline: By MARTIN WILLIAMS

CONJOINED twin Faith Williams tragically passed away on Christmas Day.

Dad Aled, 28, from Anglesey, and mum Laura had kept a constant vigil at her bedside, but lost their daughter a month after her sister Hope died at Great Ormond Street hospital.

When Faith and Hope were born on November 26 at University College London, they weighed 4.8kg (10.5lb).

The girls were joined from the breastbone to the top of the navel and had a shared liver but separate hearts.

Surgeons had hoped to wait until the twins were older and stronger before attempting to separate them, but were forced to act when they were less than a week old.

Hope died shortly after a complicated operation which took 11 hours.

Doctors had only given Faith a 50-50 chance of living, and were "sad" at her death, despite it not being "unexpected".

Mrs Williams, 18, from Shrewsbury, became the youngest mother of conjoined twins when she gave birth by caesarean section.

She and Aled had been warned of the risks, but refused medical advice to have the pregnancy terminated, on moral grounds.

Twenty staff were involved in the operation to separate the girls and each twin was moved to a different theatre after they had been separated.

Baby Hope died shortly afterwards because her lungs were not developed well enough for her to survive alone.

Professor Agostino Pierro, who conducted the operation at Great Ormond Street, confirmed Faith Williams died on Christmas Day.

"This is very sad news and our sincere condolences to Mr and Mrs Williams on their tragic loss.

"The family will want peace and privacy at this difficult time.

"We were always clear that Faith was very sick.

She required the full range of skills of our intensive care staff, and underwent a number of further procedures. However, she succumbed to the complexities of her condition.

"While this is a sad outcome, it is not an unexpected one."

martin.williams@dailypost.co.uk

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Laura and Aled Williams, from Anglesey, parents of conjoined twins Hope and Faith, who were born a month ago
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 27, 2008
Words:353
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