DISCOVERY LIFE CHANNEL TO AIR EXCLUSIVE FIRST INTERVIEW WITH MATA CONJOINED TWINS FAMILY AT HOME IN ABC NEWS PRODUCED DOCUMENTARY "CONJOINED TWINS: MIRACLE SEPARATION"
-- One-Hour Special Premieres Thurs., July 16 at 9/8c on the Discovery Life Channel--
(Silver Spring, Md.) - Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata share a special bond that most twins, let alone regular siblings, will never know. Born on April 11, 2014 at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women in Houston, the conjoined twins spent the first 10-months of their lives fused together from the ribcage down to the pelvis, sharing several internal organs. Facing a lifetime of challenges, their parents Elysse and Eric Mata made the incredibly difficult decision to have the girls undergo life-altering separation surgery. Lincoln Square Productions, an ABC News Production Company, followed the conjoined twins' extensive journey from birth through separation, and secured the first interview with the entire family after both girls were released from the hospital in the documentary CONJOINED TWINS: MIRACLE SEPARATION, which will debut on the Discovery Life Channel on Thursday, July 16 at 9/8c.
"We are thrilled to partner with ABC News and Lincoln Square Productions, and are truly honored to be able to share the Mata family's remarkable story," said Jane Latman, general manager of Discovery Life Channel. "CONJOINED TWINS: MIRACLE SEPARATION offers an intimate, in-depth look at little Knatalye and Adeline's incredible journey. Our belief is that their story will offer hope and inspiration to other families going through difficult situations."
With unprecedented access to the family, the hospital and the elite surgical team that performed the complex 26-hour separation surgery, viewers will follow Knatalye and Adeline through every phase of the arduous process. At only 8-months old, they undergo tissue expansion surgery to prepare their skin for separation. At 9-months of age, cameras follow mom Elysse throughout her hectic day, living out of a temporary home near the hospital and shuttling her older son to school in between visits to the hospital. Meanwhile, her husband Eric maintains his job at their permanent residence nearly eight hours away, commuting to Texas Children's Hospital as much as possible. As the twins prepare for separation, Elysse candidly admits "I just gotta have faith, I just gotta stay strong. They have only been a part of our lives for nine months, but they have done so much for me as a mom. I just can't imagine not having them." Finally, at 10 months, the little girls are deemed strong and healthy enough to undergo the big surgery.
Cameras inside the operating room capture the complex choreography between the 12 surgeons; six anesthesiologists and eight surgical nurses who worked tirelessly for 26 hours straight to separate the conjoined twins, and then put each girl back together. "This surgery was not without its challenges with the girls sharing several organ systems," said Dr. Darrell Cass, pediatric surgeon, co-director of Texas Children's Fetal Center and associate professor of surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. "This is the first time a separation surgery for thoraco-omphalo-ischiopagus twins with this particular configuration has been successful."
The formerly conjoined twins were separated on Feb. 17, 2015. Knatalye, the stronger of the two, went home on May 8, with Adeline following a little over a month later on June 10. CONJOINED TWINS: MIRACLE SEPARATION features the first interview of the entire family at their temporary residence near the Texas Children's Hospital.
CONJOINED TWINS: MIRACLE SEPARATION is produced by Lincoln Square Productions for the Discovery Life Channel. For Lincoln Square Productions, executive producer is Roxanna Sherwood and senior producer is Jenna Millman. For Discovery Life Channel, Julie Meisner Eagle is vice president of production, Jane Latman is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is Group President.
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Discovery Life Channel embraces all of life's unplanned moments. Discovery Life brings viewers a kaleidoscope of human emotions and experiences through the true stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. From critical turning points to unexpected events, Discovery Life tackles life's surprising twists and turns. The network is under the purview of Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family Channel, and Discovery Life Channel, with Jane Latman as General Manager. Discovery Life Channel is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world's #1 pay-TV provider reaching nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in 220 countries and territories.