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Separated twins defy the odds to start their first day at school

A pair of conjoined twins who were given a slim chance of survival have defied the odds and are preparing for their first day at school.

Four-year-olds Rosie and Ruby Formosa were born joined at the abdomen and shared part of the intestine, and needed an emergency operation to separate them after they were born by caesarean section in 2012.

Their mother, Angela Formosa, said it was heartbreaking to discover her daughters had the rare condition, which accounts for one in every 200,000 live births.

The twins were given a slim chance of survival. Credit: Family handout/PA Wire

At 16 weeks they sent me to King's College Hospital and it was there that they discovered the connection between the girls.

I was already worried that they were monoamniotic (wheretwins share an amniotic sac), and conjoined was the worst-case scenario.

I was really, really, really scared and really upset because at that point I was told that there was a high possibility that the girls wouldn't survive the pregnancy.

And if they did survive the pregnancy they might not survive the birth, then they might not survive surgery.

– Angela Formosa
Ruby (left) and Rosie Formosa, were born joined at the abdomen and shared part of the intestine. Credit: Family handout/PA Wire

The twins underwent a successful five-hour operation at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital and are now happy and healthy, and looking forward to starting school next week.

"The time has just flown by, I can't believe how fast it has gone," Mrs Formosa said.

The four-year-old twins are looking forward to joining their big sister at school. Credit: Family handout/PA Wire

"They are very excited (about starting school); their big sister is in school so they can't wait. They've met their teacher a few times and they love their teacher."

Mrs Formosa added: "They're looking forward to painting, anything messy - they love reading.

"They are very similar, they are very bubbly little girls, they are very headstrong and very determined, which I knew they were from when they were in my belly because of the way they kept growing and surviving."