Twins Conjoined at Birth Growing Up Separately
They were two adorable baby girls, a rare set of conjoined twins. Their parents were so overwhelmed they put them the babies up for adoption.
Jeff and Darla Garrison had taken in foster kids before, but they knew this time would be different.
"We knew right away that we would adopt them," said Darla.
"They were cute. Little hands going and grabbing each other's faces," said Jeff.
Doctor James Stein of Los Angeles Children's Hosptial recommended an operation to separate the twins, even with all the huge risks involved.
"We determined that we could offer a better quality of life safely for them," said Dr. Stein.
The Garrisons agreed, and a team of doctors assembled for the surgery. The girls were prepped for surgery and wheeled into the O.R. Twenty-five hours later, they were wheeled into recovery. Two little girls in separate beds, apart for the first time.
"We're fortunate. That's all I can say," said an emotional Jeff.
What makes this case so rare is that they aren't just twins. They are actually triplets. Their sister was born at the same time, perfectly healthy. Now the Garrisons had three girls to bring home.
And here are the triplets today.
Alexander asked, "What grade are you in?"
"Second," they all said together.
The 7-year-olds finish each other's sentences, and their scars are healed. Because the twins were born with one leg each, they get around like speed demons on crutches.
But there are more hurdles ahead. Little Macie must take medicine each day for a kidney and liver condition.
Alexander asked, Darla, "Was there a point when you thought, 'I can't do this?' "
"When God says, 'Do this,' you say, 'Okay.' You don't tell him 'no,' " said Darla.
McKenzie and Macie are in the same second grade class outside Des Moines, Iowa. Their sister Madeline is across the hall. The girls get time out to practice walking with a prosthetic leg. But when the recess bell rings, they bolt outside. McKenzie loves to jump rope. Macie loves the swing.
All three girls go horseback riding. McKenzie manages to get on the horse all alone.
"What you saw was her climbing on a horse. Did you see how happy she was, how confident she was?" asked Darla.
These little girls, born conjoined, continue to have a strong bond. They are determined to keep up with their sister.
"I'm a tough cookie to be their mom. I require that they try, and they make that easy," said Darla.