A team of surgeons in New York have separated twins Jadon and Anias McDonald who were conjoined at the tops of their heads.
The 13-month-olds underwent 16 hours of surgery, and are now undergoing additional procedures to rebuild their skulls.
On October 14, the boys’ mother, Nicole McDonald, wrote on Facebook that she is excited but “aches with the uncertainty of the future”.
Nicole McDonald also posted a photo of Jadon alone in his own hospital bed.
Image source Nicole McDonald Facebook
“I actually asked why they rearranged the room because I hadn’t really internalized the idea that there would be two beds in here,” she wrote with the photo, also wishing her son a “happy rebirth day”.
In an earlier post, Nicole McDonald wrote: “It’s a bit surreal to sit here and type this… I should feel so happy… TWO SEPARATE BABIES!!!…and yet I ache with the uncertainty of the future.”
The boys were born with shared blood vessels and brain tissues, a very rare condition that occurs once in about 10 million births, doctors say.
Dr. James Goodrich from Montefiore Medical Center, who has performed similar operations for other children including two Syrian twins earlier this year, prepared for the operation by creating 3D models of the attached heads.
The McDonalds moved house with their two-year-old son and twin boys from Chicago to New York to be closer to Montefiore hospital.
The twins’ family has raised more than $100,000 for the costs of surgery.
Conjoined twins Owen and Emmett Ezell, who were separated at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas in August 2013, are expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday, eight months after their surgery.
Medical City announced Monday that Owen and Emmett Ezell are expected to be released to a local inpatient rehabilitation center this week.
To celebrate the twins’ health and success, a small celebration is being planned on Wednesday prior to their departure. Ahead of that celebration, the hospital and Ezell family released two new photographs of the now 9-month-old boys on Tuesday.
In the past the hospital had said Owen and Emmett Ezell had to pass three major hurdles to go home – eating and breathing on their own and fully healing from their surgical wounds.
Conjoined twins Owen and Emmett Ezell were separated at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas in August 2013 (photo Ezell family)
“This is the next step to getting the boys home with their family,” the news release said.
The hospital said Monday the twins are breathing on their own through a trachea breathing tube and that they are no longer being fed through an IV, but they continue to be fed through tubes in their abdomens.
While at rehab, the boys’ parents will learn to manage those tubes until the boys can eat on their own.
Owen and Emmett Ezell are expected to be released on Wednesday, but the hospital says as with any fragile patient, the release could change.
The hospital plans to celebrate the twins release at the hospital Wednesday, though the boys will not be there because of their fragile state.
The family has been chronicling the boys’ progress, since their separation surgery in August 2013 on The Ezell Twins blog. They are selling T-shirts through their blog that read, “The Works of God Displayed in Them, John 9:1-3.”
The funds donated go into a trust fund set up for Emmett and Owen Ezell and their direct care.