A set of conjoined twins, separated successfully five months after birth, are recovering from surgery at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Florida.
Michelle Brantley and Bryan Mirabal found out that their twin boys Connor and Carter were joined from the sternum to the lower abdomen, sharing a liver and a small intestine and bile ducts, while she was still pregnant. While obviously shocked, the parents held onto hope that they would be able to be separated after birth. Now, at five months old, the twins are able to lay in separate cribs for the first time.
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“It was very overwhelming, upsetting and very sad,” Michelle told the Miami Herald. “We prayed a lot and had family and support and we got through it.”
The Jacksonville boys underwent a 12-hour surgery on Thursday, May 7 at the Nemours Children’s Specialty Care Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. The operating team included three surgeons and five anesthesiologists. They are recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit, and as of Monday, May 11, they were listed as being in critical, but stable, condition.
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Shortly before the operation, their parents and several nurses lined up for good luck kisses.
“I told them that I love them and that they’ll be OK and that they’re going to be very well taken care of,” Michelle told her sons.
When they came out of surgery, Michelle said it was strange to be able to look at one boy at a time.
“It was so awesome, walking up to the bed for the first time, and then it registered that I was just looking at Carter,” she said. “And then I thought, ‘I have another baby over here too!'”
“Connor and Carter should be able to live out normal lives,” Dr. Daniel Robie, chief of pediatric surgery, told ABC News. “This will be a distant memory for them. They’ll just hear stories from their parents and grandmas about what happened when they were born.”
The boys have spent the first five months of their life in the hospital, and will continue to stay for at least another month while they recover. However, their parents are busy preparing their house for the day they get to bring them home.
“We are starting to change around the house, getting cribs set up,” Mirabal said. “We hadn’t started setting anything up because of what we were told could happen (in surgery).”
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