Tyler family overcomes challenges to care for conjoined twin girls

A family in Texas is learning to navigate life with conjoined twin girls, who are now 5 months old. (Source: KLTV)
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 6:55 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2023 at 10:11 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas family is working through a struggle that’s hard to imagine. Their twin girls, born last August, were conjoined, sharing a heart and liver with only a slim chance of surviving.

Driving the babies to appointments is just one of many challenges faced by the family since no car seat exists to meet their unique need.

Nonetheless, the family has faith that they will find a way.

The family was told by doctors that the babies, Daletzy and Daleyza, wouldn’t survive the pregnancy and termination was the best option, but their mother, Norma, said no.

“We said we would leave it in God’s hands and continue the pregnancy because one never knows what could happen after, and here are my babies, so we decided not to end the pregnancy because how were we going to end our babies’ lives.”

They defied the odds and are here today at five months old, but it hasn’t been a smooth road. Daletzy is on a breathing tube and is slightly smaller than Daleyza.

They are under the hospice care of Dr. Amy Starr, a pediatrician with CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic. She said they can’t be separated because their heart is so malformed.

“Even with all the wonders of modern-day pediatric cardiovascular surgery, they don’t believe they can make a functional single heart for one kid, even taking parts out of both,” she said.

As the twins continue to live and grow in Tyler, the question of transportation comes into play. The family needs a car seat that would fit them.

“Since they were born, we haven’t been able to take them anywhere. I would love to have a car seat for them to take them to church, to the park with their little brother, so they can see a different environment,” Norma said. “There just doesn’t appear to be one available that we could modify. It would have to be a car bed right now, but even those we don’t have anything that we can modify.”

Dr. Starr and nurses have to travel to the home. Norma said the twins rode in an ambulance when going home from the hospital, but this isn’t an ideal solution.

There is currently only one car seat manufacturer located in Utah that could possibly make a custom car seat, but due to the twins’ being in Texas, they are not confident that there is a safe way to get them there.

Still, the family isn’t ending the fight, because they have faith.

“I feel grateful with God and very happy that my babies are here with me, and we have our faith set that we can come up with something,” Norma said. “For a reason, God has left her with us for this time. They are here for a reason, and we feel very blessed with them because they are a miracle.”

The family is seeking help from anyone who knows how to design, build or adapt a car seat for their children.