A Florida woman, Michelle Brantley, gave birth Friday to the first set of conjoined twins that Jacksonville has seen in what is believed to be approximately 15 years, according to First Coast News. Brantley had a scheduled C-section on Wednesday, but started going into labor after 34 intense weeks of medical complications. Carter and Conner Mirabal, connected at the abdomen and facing each other, were born weighing 5 pounds each.
She and her fiance Bryan Mirabal were surprised in the spring to hear that not only were they expecting identical twins, but the boys were conjoined facing each other from the sternum to the lower abdomen. Eight months earlier she had given birth to her first child, and was on the birth control Depo-Provera shot when she found out she was again pregnant.
As reported by the Daily Mail, aside from their livers, which appear to be connected in some way, Carter and Conner appear to be functioning independently of each other, doctors said.
After their delivery, the twins required immediate surgery, as doctors had to repair some organ damage. The family reported on social media sites that some of the identical twins' organs were exposed. It's believed the only major organ they are sharing is a liver. The twins are currently hooked up to breathing machines. According to family, doctors intend to leave Carter and Conner conjoined for now, but are being transferred to Wolfson Children's Hospital for further observation, as Carter started to have some heart complications. Despite suffering minor heart complications at first, doctors report that Carter's heart is strengthening.
Brantley and her fiance, Mirabal, have spent the pregnancy and birth in constant contact with Atlanta couple Robin and Michael Hamby, whose conjoined twin sons died the day they were born on December 5. The Hamby boys, Asa and Eli, survived just 34 hours before developing an atrial flutter, which is a condition where the heart beats out of sync, and sent their heart rate to 300 beats a minute, as reported by The Inquisitr.
Robin Hamby was correct in being concerned about the statistics when it comes to conjoined twins. According to the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, conjoined twins occur one in every 50,000 to 60,000 births, and most are stillborn. Further statistics show that 35 percent of conjoined twins survive only one day, and that the overall survival rate for conjoined twins is between 5 and 25 percent.
You can show your support for the family by visiting their Facebook page at Prayers for Carter & Conner.