Page last updated at 19:56 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Operation on conjoined twin girls

Great Ormond Street Hospital
The operation is taking place at Great Ormond Street

Surgeons at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London have carried out an operation to separate conjoined twin girls.

Laura Williams, 18, from Shrewsbury, gave birth to the girls, Faith and Hope, last Wednesday.

The girls are joined from their breastbone to their navel, sharing a liver but having separate hearts.

The hospital said it would not comment on how the operation had gone until Wednesday morning.

The operation had been due to take place later in the week.

Family's decision

A Great Ormond Street Hospital spokeswoman said: "The separation of conjoined twins Faith and Hope Williams has been brought forward... after some concerns developed last night.

"Obviously, the final decision about separation surgery was made by the family."

The spokeswoman added that Laura and her husband Aled, from Anglesey, Wales, wanted to thank all the hospitals and staff involved in their care.

Mrs Williams is believed to be the youngest mother of conjoined twins in Britain.

She gave birth to her daughters at University College Hospital in London and said afterwards that seeing her babies for the first time had been beautiful.

Mrs Williams and her husband Aled, 28, found out about their children's condition at a routine 12-week scan.

They were advised by doctors to have their daughters aborted but they refused to have a termination.

The couple have another daughter, 18-month-old Carly.

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