Jesse Carlsen, Amy Christopher Moir, Carlsen, Isabelle Carlsen, Abigail Carlsen
Jim Mone  /  AP
Abbigail Carlsen, right, held by her father, Jesse, reaches for twin sister, Isabelle, held by her mother, Amy, during a farewell celebration at the Mayo Clinic on Monday in Rochester, Minn. The formerly conjoined twins underwent separation surgery three weeks ago. Dr. Christopher Moir, who led the surgery, is shown in the center.
updated 6/8/2006 10:42:26 AM ET 2006-06-08T14:42:26

The Mayo Clinic said a joyful farewell Monday to Abbigail and Isabelle Carlsen, who arrived as conjoined twins and are going home as healthy, separate 6-month-old girls.

The twins and their parents, Amy and Jesse Carlsen of Fargo, N.D., were surrounded by their caregivers and a horde of photographers during a send-off celebration in the courtyard of St. Mary's Hospital.

Mayo officials put out a spread for the family, including three cakes that said, “We wish you the best. Abbigail and Isabelle.”

The girls were separated on a wet, rainy day just over three weeks ago. Dr. Christopher Moir, who led the surgical team, said the girls’ father remarked that the light that day was in the operating room.

“Today that light is out in the world,” Moir said.

The girls were born Nov. 29 attached at the diaphragm, pancreas and liver. They also shared a common bile duct and part of an intestine. They were separated May 12.

“I just had a strong belief and trust that we were guided to Mayo for a reason,” Jesse Carlsen said. “The reason is here — two beautiful girls.”

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