October 14, 2011

Despite efforts, twins die at UCMC

Twenty-three days after their birth, a pair of conjoined twins delivered at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) died September 29.

Faith and Hope Schulten, who had separate heads but were joined at the torso, shared a heart, liver, two kidneys, and lungs. The twins had remained at the UCMC since birth due to the fragility of their condition, according to a September 25 Chicago Sun-Times article.

A scan conducted three days after the twins’ birth showed their shared heart pumping oxygen-poor blood into the circulatory system, which, according to the article, is a predictable problem with a shared heart. After the scan, the doctors were not optimistic about the lifespan of the twins.

The twins’ 21-year-old mother, Amanda Schulten of Marengo, Illinois, had been chronicling her experiences during pregnancy and immediately after the birth on a blog titled Faith and Hope and Love. Schulten faced criticism for her decision to go through with the delivery.

According to the 2011 rankings compiled by US News and World Report, the Comer Children’s Hospital at the UCMC ranks second in the Chicago area for pediatric care, and is listed among the four best Chicago hospitals in neonatology. Throughout her postings, Schulten enthusiastically praised the quality of care she experienced with the specialists at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the UCMC.

The UCMC declined to comment, citing the privacy of the Schulten family.