Newborn conjoined twins remain in critical condition at a Georgia hospital after they were born sharing a heart and a liver.
The two boys, named Chandler Kaiden and Chance Aiden, were born by cesarean section on Monday, November 9 at the Georgia Regents Medical Center and are now being cared for at the neonatal intensive care unit of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia in Augusta.
According to Fox News, Brittany Crafton, 26, a first time mom, had no idea she was having twins, much less conjoined twins, until she went in for her second sonogram.
“I knew something had to be different when the ultrasound took longer than expected. The news of them being conjoined was truly surreal,” said Crafton, adding that she fell in love with her boys from the moment the doctor told her she was pregnant.
The ultrasound showed her son’s embracing, which is why she decided to continue with the pregnancy, even though she knew there would be struggles after they were born.
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“How could you do something to two little babies, just looking like they’re hugging each other?” she said. “When I got to see it on the sonogram. I was like there’s two babies, it like they’re hugging. It was very surprising, shocking, nerve-wracking, all at once. You know when you have a plan and the plan doesn’t go as you expect, but God has a plan for all of us and he has a plan for the boys so I just leave it in his hands.”
Prior to the boy’s delivery, Dr. Paul Browne, who is the section chief of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Georgia Regents University (GRU) and Health System (GRHealth), said their chance of survival was good even though they were joined at the chest, WJBF reports.
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“We have tools that help us predict children’s chances of survival, but most of that depends upon the heart,” Browne said previously. “What makes this case special, is that the heart the twins share is quite normal and has been functioning very well for them. So, we believe it will continue to function well after the delivery.”
Aside from being joined at the heart and liver, the conjoined twins also suffer from clubfoot, and one of the twin’s hip is dislocated. A GoFundMe site called “2 Smiles 1 Heart” has been created in hopes of raising money to help pay for the twin’s care. So far, the fundraising page has raised $5,035 in 18 days.
“All funds will go directly to Brittany to assist with the twins. Please continue to pray with us,” the page reads. “With God all things are possible!!!!”
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For now, Crafton, who is a hairstylist, has not decided if, or when, she will separate the twins. Right now, she is just focusing on caring for them and trying to figure out how to pay for their expenses, which will include specialized car seats, cribs, and clothing, as well as their medical and rehabilitation costs.
According to a hospital press release, Crafton’s sons were the first set of conjoined twins to be born at the academic health center in Augusta. The Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the second-largest children’s hospital Georgia. It was recently ranked number one in the nation for quality and safety by the UHC. The hospital’s website states that conjoined twins occur in approximately one out of 60,000 births.
[Photo via GoFundMe/”2 Smiles 1 Heart”]