Since birth, Anias and Jadon McDonald have shared more than the fact they are twins.
Until several weeks ago, the two boys, now 13-months-old, shared a skull and brain tissue.
Following a 16-hour surgical process at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, the conjoined twins were successfully separated.
In the recovery room following the surgery, the two boys were photographed looking at each other for the first time since birth.
Although they are recovering and getting stronger, they have also suffered with seizures and infections since being separated.
The procedure was performed by a surgical team headed up by Dr. James Goodrich, who is considered the leading expert in separating twins sharing a cranium.
Including the McDonald twins, Dr. Goodrich has performed seven such procedures.
The mother of the two boys, Nicole McDonald, told CNN, “It’s the most amazing thing. I just can’t even believe it.”
After spending only six weeks in recovery, the twins were scheduled to begin rehabilitation to learn to function separately.
Dr. Oren Tepper, the plastic surgeon on the surgical team, said that Anias will need additional surgery to replace the portion of the skull he lost in the procedure.
“It hasn’t been perfect, but I think perfection in this case was never really an option,” Tepper said.
Calling the boys’ recovery “way ahead of schedule,” Tepper added, “They’re really doing a lot better than I hoped. The whole world has gotten behind these kids.”
According to the New York Daily News, a GoFundMe account has been established to help the family with expenses.
So far the account has raised nearly $300,000.
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