NEW YORK — Twin 13-month-old boys conjoined at the head were successfully separated early Friday at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, CNN reported.
Jadon and Anias McDonald underwent surgery on Thursday, their parents began a long vigil as surgeons in New York began the operation.
Nicole and Christian McDonald say their sons have distinct personalities. Jadon is rowdy while Anias, who had to fight harder to live in the early months of his life, is more contemplative.
Early Friday, Nicole posted on her Facebook page that the surgery was “a go,” and that “BY MORNING…THERE WILL BE TWO BABIES, IN TWO BEDS.”
Jadon was the first to come out of surgery. Nicole posted a photo showing his head wrapped in gauze.
“Welcome back my sweet Jadon. Happy rebirth day,” Nicole wrote on Facebook.
The surgery was led by Dr. James Goodrich, considered the leading expert on what’s known as craniopagus surgery. The separation part of the surgery took nearly 16.5 hours, CNN reported.
Goodrich informed the family of the separation around 3 a.m. “Well, we did it,” Goodrich said. “But we are definitely not out of the woods by any means,” Nicole wrote on her Facebook page.
Though her sons were conjoined, Nicole’s photos usually show just one of her sons at a time.
“My pictures will always depict my boys as separate because that’s what they are to me. Their faces are so beautiful. I would hate for people to get caught up in the bridge between them,” Nicole wrote on the family’s GoFundMe page.
Doctors have been preparing the boys for this day since the boys were born last year, CNN reports. They already have undergone three operations to start the long process. Doctors placed four tissue expanders in their heads to make the separation process a little easier.
At 7:15 a.m. Thursday, Anias and Jadon were wheeled into the operating room where the 20-hour surgery is taking place. Their parents and 3-year-old big brother Aza kissed them before saying goodbye, hoping they will see the twins again healthy and separated soon.