A set of formerly conjoined twins are finally back at home for the first time since their life-changing separation surgery one year ago.
Jadon and Anias McDonald captured millions of hearts as CNN followed their separation journey. The boys were born conjoined at the head to parents Nicole and Christian McDonald.
The two underwent separation surgery at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City when they were 13 months old. The surgery took 27 hours to complete, CNN reports.
The boys spent months at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in physical therapy before finally being released in September, days before their second birthday.
“We lived every day in the hospital for such a long time that it felt like that was going to be our normal forever,” McDonald told TODAY. “Every day is our dream. It is wonderful.”
Nicole, Christian and their other son, 4-year-old Aza, relocated from Chicago to the Bronx to be closer to Jadon and Anias.
The boys will still undergo 20 hours of at-home therapy each week, NBC News reports.
The family says Jadon is more developed than his brother. He’s sitting up, crawling and is taking his first steps. Anias, on the other hand, has experienced muscle weakness and has limited control over the right side of his body.
“Anias is my little underdog,” McDonald said. “He has to fight so many more battles than Jadon and he always does it gracefully.”
There’s still a long journey ahead for the boys. They will continue to undergo physical therapy, and when they’re 8 years old, they will undergo skull reconstruction.