1-Year-Old Twin Boys Joined at the Head Separated After 22-Hour Surgery
Anias and Jadon McDonald, two 13-month-old twin boys, began the nail-biting surgery on Thursday but by Friday morning, they'd been separated.
The family learned of the separation around 3 a.m. Friday. Jadon was out of surgery hours later, while his brother left surgery early Friday afternoon.
Mom Nicole wrote on her Facebook page, “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. I didn't cry until the surgeon's left the room. I was barely able to even utter the words "thank you" because of the pit that still sits heavy in my stomach.”
Little Jadon and Anias were born September 9, 2015, a month before their actual due date.
Their father, Christian McDonald, named his two boys after Hebrew origins: Anias meaning “God answers” and Jadon meaning “God has heard.”
The decision to opt for the surgery was not an easy one. The craniopagus procedure on two small children proposed several life-threatening risks, including long-term brain damage and the possibility of death.
The procedure lasted more than 16 hours and included reconstructing their small skulls with tissue expanders to make them two separate individuals.
According to CNN.com, Dr. James Goodrich led the twins’ procedure and claimed that it was the longest craniopagus surgery since 1952.
However, Dr. Goodrich made the impossible possible.
After several long hours, the final stitch was cut by Dr. Carrie Stern in separating the two boys around 2 a.m. Friday.
Five hours later, Jadon was wheeled on a stretcher out of the operating room and taken to the pediatric intensive care unit while his brother stayed behind. Anais was out of surgery around 1 p.m. Friday.
"Anias, my love, 30 hours away from you was too long," his mom wrote on Facebook. "And almost 5 hours away from your brother!! You look so small in that big bed all by yourself. I know things got pretty hard...and that you've been through more than I will ever experience in a lifetime...but I promise that it's going to be ok."
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