A set of conjoined twins in Texas have been separated successfully.
The conjoined twins in Texas are just six weeks old, and little Owen and Emmett Ezell were born last month fused from their hips to their breastbones. Given the nature of the abnormality and its severity, the operation performed Saturday in Dallas had a lower than 50 percent change of success.
Conjoined twins are very rare, occurring in just one of every 50,000 to 200,000 births. But even then survival rates are low overall, with nearly half stillborn and many more born with abnormalities incompatible with life.
For many years, conjoined twins were commonly called “Siamese twins” after the most famous set, Chang and Eng Bunker. Born in Siam, the pair — who were fused by a small bit of cartilage and could have easily been separated today — lived to an old age after emigrating to America in the mid 1800s.
When conjoined twins like the Ezell boys do survive, separation is an incredibly risky proposition much of the time. As the boys shared vital internal organs, the risk was far graver than other surgical separations.
Mom Jenni Ezell has been blogging about the stressful experience of having conjoined twins, and was honest when it came to the moment in which she saw her little baby boys off into a long and grueling surgery Saturday:
“I hope I never have to experience a moment like that again. I didn’t know if I would see my babies alive again, if I would see only one, or if I would see them after they had gone to be with their creator.”
Ezell believes the formerly conjoined twins may be healthy enough to come home by Christmas, but the family says they are taking their time with the boys’ recovery. Updates on the Ezell twins can be found on the family’s Facebook page.