Separated twins make 'wonderful progress'

Published August 13, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY - Formerly conjoined twins separated during a 26-hour surgery were breathing on their own Saturday, a milestone just days after the operation.

Kendra and Maliyah Herrin, 4, were removed from ventilators about 3:45 p.m., said Primary Children's Medical Center spokeswoman Laura Winder, who called it "wonderful progress."

"It's a little sooner than perhaps we expected, but (doctors) said all along we would listen to how they were responding and follow their lead," she said.

Doctors also reported no evidence of post-surgery infections, Winder said.

The twins, who were born joined at the mid-torso, remain in critical but stable condition. They were separated during surgery that ended Tuesday.

Their father, Jake Herrin, said Maliyah's ventilator was removed about 10 minutes before Kendra's "but we'll call it a tie."

"They are doing great," he said on the family's Web site. "They have woken up but are still really drugged, so they really don't know what's going on."

Fluctuations in the twins' vital signs have also remained remarkably similar.

Since birth, the blonde, blue-eyed girls from North Salt Lake have shared a liver, kidney, bladders and a single pelvis. They had only two legs, each one controlled by one girl.

A team of six surgeons separated their torsos, liver, bladders and pelvis, leaving each girl with one leg.

Kendra kept the kidney, and Maliyah has been placed on dialysis. In the months ahead, she is expected to get a kidney transplanted from their mother, Erin Herrin.

Texas men arraigned on terror-related charges

CARO, Mich. - Three Texas men were arraigned Saturday on terrorism-related charges after police found about 1,000 cell phones in their minivan.

A magistrate set bail at $750,000 for each of the men, who face charges of collecting or providing materials for terrorist acts and surveillance of a vulnerable target for terrorist purposes.

Officials have declined to say how the case relates to terrorism.

No pleas were entered at the arraignment at a District Court in Caro, about 80 miles north of Detroit.

Maruan Awad Muhareb and Louai Abdelhamied Othman, both of Mesquite, Texas, and Adham Abdelhamid Othman, of Dallas, were stopped before dawn Friday after they purchased 80 cell phones from a Wal-Mart in Caro. Police said they found about 1,000 cell phones, mostly prepaid TracFones, in their minivan.

The men said they intended to sell the phones in Texas for a profit.

Authorities have said TracFones are often used by terrorists because they are not traceable.

Cell phones can also be used to make detonators.