LOMA LINDA, Calif. - Two Coachella girls born conjoined at the head were reunited Thursday with the Doctors at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital who saved their lives.
The little girls, known to everyone one at the hospital as the miracle babies, are now 9 years old. The surgery to give them separate was the first of its kind for Loma Linda and one like it has not been performed since.
Doctors agree Crystal and Christina Molina are truly medical miracles.
"I knew then it was a blessing that they were coming," said proud father Bernardo Molina.
In matching pink polka-dot dresses, Crystal and Christina look like any other 9-year-old girls.
As sisters they are inseparable, and it's thanks to these doctors they have a choice to be.
"Sometimes she does homework and I don't do homework because my teacher lets us finish it in the classroom," said Christina Molina.
When they were born, these twins shared a skull. Doctors used a model to plan their complex surgery.
"There was this whole area in the middle that would not be covered by skin," said plastic surgeon Dr. Andrea Ray.
"No conjoined twin surgeries are ever the same," said pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Alexander Zouros.
In 2005, Doctors at Loma Linda University Children's hospital did what had never been done before, the risky surgery to separate Crystal and Christina
"No body on the team had done a twin separation," said Dr. Zouros.
"I can remember vividly the moment where we separated the last bit of tissue, we were so surprised we looked at the clock and they were separated," said Dr. Ray.
After 12 hours and no cost to the family, Christina and Crystal were free to grow up as normal kids.
"It was a surprise for us, I never imagined how everything was going to be, how it was going to end up," said Bernardo Molina.
"It was so great to have these two little bouncing babies get out of the hospital within a month or so and just have grown up like normal kids," said Dr. Ray.
"There is no more complications, there is no more risks we are not waiting for the other shoe to drop," said Dr. Zouros.
"They dress up and go run around in their pretty dresses and they are just like regular kids and that is the best part," said Dr. Ray.
"It was a blessing, so here they are, they are special," said Molina.
Thursday's reunion was to help kick off Loma Linda University Children's Hospital's 20th Birthday. The celebrations will continue this weekend.