Team behind separation of conjoined twins receives DAISY Award

Members of the team that received the DAISY Team Award

Team behind separation of conjoined twins receives DAISY Award


A DAISY Team Award was presented this week to the team behind the successful separation of conjoined craniopagus twins Abigail and Micaela Bachinskiy. The award recognizes outstanding members of the nursing community.

Chief nursing and patient care services officer Toby Marsh and executive director of perioperative services Wendy Willson presented certificates and pins to the team at a morning awards celebration.

“Cases like this remind us of why we went into health care. To be part of a highly skilled and dedicated team that, when necessary, can come together to witness a rare miracle like this,” Willson said. 

The nine-month-old twins were separated in a marathon 24-hour surgery in the Children’s Surgery Center operating room the weekend of October 24, 2020. The event took more than 10 months of planning and involved an interdisciplinary team of more than 30members. They included neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, Children’s Surgery Center nurses and technicians/assistants. The group was led by neurosurgeon Michael Edwards; medical director of the Children’s Surgery Center and anesthesiologist Rajvinder Dhamrait; and operating room team leader nurse Aida Benitez.

“We could not be more proud of what this team achieved that day for this family,” Marsh said. “Thanks to this extraordinary team, these twins are now enjoying a ‘separate but together’ new chapter in their lives as active toddlers.”

Nursing Team 
Aida Benitez, R.N. (Clinical Coordinator, Nursing Lead & Co-Captain)
Andrew Obrien, R.N. 
Christine Evans, R.N. 
Tatyana Kolpakchi, R.N. 
Sandina Bega, R.N. 
Frances Villote, R.N. 
Lisa Peterson, R.N. 
Olga Yakoubovsky, R.N. 
Mathew Hipwell, R.N. 
John Ortiz, R.N. 

Neurosurgery Team 
Michael S.B. Edwards, M.D. (Team Leader)
Kia Shahlaie, M.D. 
Marike Zwienenberg, M.D. 
Edwin Kulubya, M.D. 
Joti Thind, M.D. 

Plastic Surgery Team 
Granger Wong, M.D. (Team Leader) 
Joseph Firriolo, M.D. 
Ping Song, M.D. 
Sarah Chen, M.D.

Pediatric Anesthesiology Team 
Rajvinder Dhamrait, M.D. (Team Leader & Co-Captain) 
Niroop Ravula, M.D. 
Sarah Maclean, M.D. 
Dua Anderson, M.D. 
Mark Murphy, D.O. 
Karl Kristiansen, M.D. 
Richard Bertacini (anesthesia technician) 
Cindy Lomperski (anesthesia technician) 
Inna Misiruk (anesthesia technician) 

Ancillary Support 
Saul Gonzalez-Gudino (equipment specialist) 
Bettina Ford (equipment specialist) 
Rotell Wilkins (OR assistant) 
Natalia Patosca (OR assistant) 
Reshme Kumar (sterile processing technician) 
Quinton Jackson (sterile processing technician) 
KaMan Liu (Clinical Engineering) 

About the DAISY Award

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses recognizes outstanding members of the nursing community and the very special work they do every day. It was established by the DAISY Foundation in memory of the extraordinary nursing J. Patrick Barnes received when he was hospitalized. (DAISY is an acronym for diseases attacking the immune system.) This nursing recognition award program offers patients, families, and professional colleagues a way to honor nurses for all they do. The DAISY awardees consistently demonstrate excellence through their clinical expertise and extraordinary compassionate care.