The Moment an 11-Month-Old Meets Her Identical Twin Sister for the First Time

It took nearly an entire year, but one 11-month-old girl is finally meeting her identical twin sister for the first time. The mother, Marija Sparano, is describing it as a ‘very emotional moment’ and a “long time coming.” The two daughters were meant to meet one another earlier, but complications and illness got in the way. 

Emma and Nina Sparano were born via cesarean section (C-section) in May 2022 at New York City’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. They’re considered monochorionic diamniotic (Mo-Di) twins – while they were in separate sacs in the womb, the identical twins shared the same placenta and blood supply. 

Emma was born healthy and has spent the past 11 months at home with her mother and father, but Nina has lived a much different life since then. Over the past 11 months, she has spent the majority of her time in a hospital and has undergone a multitude of surgeries and treatments in hopes of living a happy life. 

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Nina Sparano was born with Pierre Robin syndrome, also known as Pierre Robin sequence and/or Pierre Robin malfunction. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it’s a ‘rare congenital birth defect characterized by an underdeveloped jaw, backward displacement of the tongue and upper airway obstruction.’

As a result, Nina underwent a tracheostomy to improve her breathing, a gastrostomy-jejunostomy (G-J) to improve her ability to feed, and major jaw surgery – among other surgeries, and she’s not done yet. Since her jaw surgery was only a partial success, Nina still requires further surgery as she remains in a hospital.

“She was basically trapped in her sac. It was folded over into what’s called a pseudo sac and it kind of trapped her and clung to her real tight. When she was growing, she was growing with that covering her mouth and pushing her jaw down, causing a … cleft palate,” Nina’s father, Daniel Sparano, told GMA

As her treatment continues, Nina’s family and her dedicated team of doctors found the time to finally introduce her to her identical twin sister, Emma. It’s something they’ve been wanting to do for quite some time and, while it took longer than they would’ve liked, the family is happy they finally got the time to meet.

Nina and Her Identical Twin Sister Were Showered With Love

In his interview with Good Morning America, Daniel Sparano described that long-awaited moment and what it meant to have his two girls together at last. “It was just so nice … I could go from one to the other, and I did it so many times — like, I was just kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss,” he delineated to GMA. 

He went on to explain how he and his wife – like so many other parents – had certain expectations when they found out they were having twins. And while his experience thus far has been much different than he initially imagined, ‘it’s nice, after all this time, to just be able to do that one simple thing’ – and rightfully so.

The family wasn’t alone as they brought their two daughters together for the first time since their birth. They were joined by their extended support network as the daughters were showered with love from those who have witnessed their story up close. The only thing their mother could do at the time was cry. 

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“Even Nina’s music teacher came. I asked her, ‘Can you come? They’re going to meet.’ So she came,” said mother Marija Sparano, who was overcome with emotion in the moment. “She played a song for them. She just wrote the song, I guess, for them with the music. It was just very, very emotional.”

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