Conjoined Twins Sharing Heart, Liver In Augusta — Still In Critical Condition, But Beating The Odds

The conjoined twins recently born in Augusta, Georgia — sharing a heart and a liver — continue to defy the odds, despite being in critical condition, according to the latest reports.

According to the most recent updates from the Augusta Chronicle, mother Brittany Crafton is doing well and spending her time at the hospital with her conjoined twins. The babies remain at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia (adjoined to Georgia Regent University Medical Center, where the children were born), where they are being cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Although Crafton’s situation with the boys — named Chance Aiden Crafton and Chandler Kaiden Crafton — is extremely unique, the 26-year-old mother is taking the whole surreal experience in stride. Savannah-based WTOC TV talked with the twins’ grandmother, who said Brittany “feels just like any other woman embracing motherhood.” The new grandma continued as follows.

“She’s spending a lot of time with her babies and really enjoying that process of motherhood. Being able to hold them, and kiss them, and pray for them has been great. She’s been amazing.”

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, about one in every 200,000 births result in conjoined twins — that’s.0005 percent. And when those rarities happen, the results usually aren’t positive.

According to the same UMMC study, about 40-60 percent of conjoined twins arrive stillborn, while another 35 percent of twins sharing a heart or other organs live for a day or less. With a survival rate in the 5-25 percent range, the Crafton twins (born via C-section on Monday) have already beaten the odds. The report goes on to say that conjoined twin girls are more likely to survive that male conjoined twins. In fact, if they had been female, the likeliness of survival increases 300 percent.

According to the Canada Journal, what may be helping the twins win this battle is the strength of their shared heart. Dr. Paul Browne of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Georgia Regents explained what makes these conjoined twins unique, even among other conjoined twins.

“What makes this case special is that the heart the twins share is quite normal and has been functioning very well for them. We believe it will continue to function well after the delivery.”

The doctor emphasized that the survival of the twins is almost completely dependent upon how well the heart continues to function. Chance and Chandler were the first conjoined twins to be delivered at the Georgia Regents center in Augusta.

For the mother, the struggle has reassured Brittany of her faith, and has opened her eyes and heart to others going through similar situations.

“I know God’s got me, and He’ll continue to be with me even after the twins are born. This experience has helped me to look at ‘different’ people differently, and I have gained a real compassion for what they go through.”

As you might expect, this has put a serious financial burden on Brittany and her family. If you would like to help the Crafton family of Augusta deal with the financial hardship of giving birth to conjoined twins, consider donating to their Go Fund Me campaign called “2 Smiles 1 Heart.” So far, over $5,000 has been raised from nearly 150 donors.

[Image via Twitter]