Project HOPE Celebrates Successful Operation to Separate Conjoined Babies in China

Medical team at Shanghai Children's Medical Center Say Twins Recovering Well

Milwood, Virginia, UNITED STATES

MILLWOOD, Va., Aug. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Conjoined twin girls in China are recovering well three weeks after a successful operation to separate them, spotlighting the pioneering work of the medical humanitarian organization, Project HOPE, which trained the medical team that conducted the high stakes procedure.

The four-and-a-half-hour operation to separate the ten-month-old girls, Jing and Wei, took place on July 16 at Shanghai Children's Medical Center (SCMC), which was established with the support of the Virginia-based NGO, Project HOPE, and its mission of forging lasting health care around the world.

The medical team, including Chief Pediatric Surgeon, Dr. Chen Qi Ming, cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Liu Jinfen, oncology surgeon, Dr. Xu Ming and chief surgeon in endoscopic minimal invasive surgery, Dr. Yan Zhi Long, performed the surgery on the twins - the fourth set of conjoined twins who underwent this procedure successfully at SCMC. The girls shared one liver and part of the heart-sac, the double-wall membrane that holds the heart and the roots of the great vessels, and the girls were connected from the lower chest to the upper belly. The twins were monitored with a special cardiac monitor and other equipment donated to the intensive care unit by USAID's American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program.

"The exceptionally talented medical team at SCMC made history again by operating on the twin baby girls and Project HOPE is immensely proud to share in this achievement as all of the health professionals who participated in the surgery and clinical care were once HOPE-trained fellows. I am thrilled to report the girls are in a very stable condition today," said Lily Hsu, Program Director of Project HOPE in Shanghai.

The Shanghai Children's Medical Center is one of the world's premier pediatric heart centers, performing lifesaving heart surgery on nearly 2,500 children each year. Project HOPE helped develop the facility, which opened in 1998, and has provided more than $30 million in medical equipment. HOPE continues to support SCMC through at least 16 training programs for professional health care workers in the areas of diabetes, children's nutrition, HIV/AIDS and nurse training.

"This intricate surgery is another indication of how Project HOPE's mission of training local doctors, nurses and health professionals can offer the gift of life for generations to come," said John P. Howe III, M.D. and President and CEO of Project HOPE.

Project HOPE has been involved in efforts to improve the health of communities in China for more than 30 years through a strong partnership with the Ministry of Health in addressing needs and advancing health professional training with the support of corporate partners. China's large population, diverse demography, and rapid economic development have had a major impact on the needs for and distribution of health care services.

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries. Visit our website and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

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