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St. Norbert College Graduate Participates in Historic Conjoined Twins Separation Surgery

From St. Norbert College, March 10, 2015
by Erich Wegenke, erich.wegenke@snc.edu, 920-403-3089

Dr. Oluyemisi Fowode-Adeyemi, a 2004 graduate of St. Norbert College, was part of a medical team that successfully separated a pair of 10-month-old conjoined twins at the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston on Feb. 17 and 18, in a historic 26-hour surgery.

Fowode-Adeyemi, a pediatric gynecology fellow at the hospital, was part of a team of 12 surgeons, four anesthesiologists and eight nurses who performed the surgery. She was one of three United States-based Nigerian doctors on the team, which also included pediatric surgeon Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye and his wife, Dr. Toyin Olutoye, who served as an anesthesiologist.

The conjoined twins, Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata, were successfully separated on February 17 and 18. According to the leader of the medical team, Dr. Darrell Cass, "This surgery was not without its challenges, with the girls sharing several organ systems." The team worked on Knatalye for about 23 hours and Adeline for 26, taking breaks at different intervals. The twins are anticipated to make a full recovery. The hospital has not yet set a release date, as follow-up surgeries may be necessary as they recover.

Fowode-Adeyemi graduated from St. Norbert College in May 2004 at the age of 19, graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. She served as that year's student commencement speaker, telling her fellow students, "Let us head out into the world ready to teach and learn, knowing that we are incredible men and women." At St. Norbert College, she had participated in Upward Bound (a group dedicated to helping high school students succeed) and the chemistry club, served as a cultural diversity mentor and advocated for HIV/AIDS education and prevention. Following her graduation from St. Norbert College, Fowode-Adeyemi continued her medical education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison medical school and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.