After 27 hours of surgery and a week into recovery, Nicole McDonald was finally able to hold her son Jadon for the first time since he was separated from his conjoined twin brother Anias. The boy’s mother held him for two hours following the removal of his breathing tube on Friday, ABC 7 Chicago reported.
“I looked down at Jadon’s angelic face and saw him in a way I’d never seen him before. He whimpered for almost the whole two hours I held him because he had just been extubated, had the area under his scalp washed out and had been weaned from the good pain meds,” McDonald wrote in a Facebook post Sunday.
Despite the precious moment McDonald spent with their son, her husband Christian did not get to hold their little boy out of fear Jadon was too fragile to be held again with all of the wires attached to his tiny frame. McDonald has yet to hold Anias, whose recovery is taking longer than expected.
"I was just happy Nicole got to hold him. She's been longing to hold him since the day the twins were born," Christian McDonald said. "That's a very special moment for a mother to share."
The family that is originally from Chicago came to New York City to have the $2.5 million surgery at the Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, Metro UK reported. The family started a GoFundMe page 13 months ago with the initial goal of $100,000 but the twins received so much media attention they garnered more than $280,000 in donations. At one point, the twins were trending on social media with the hashtag #JadonAndAnias, with which social media users shared kind words and looked for updates about the boys.
The McDonald twins were joined at the head as craniopagus twins. One-third of craniopagus twins die within 24 hours of birth. However, the boys were 13 months at the time of their surgery.