Previously conjoined 13-month-old twins Jadon and Anias McDonald have begun their rocky road to recovery after being successfully separated Friday. The twins mother Nicole McDonald shared a photo of Jadon with his eyes open Monday night.
“Hello brown eyes. I’ve missed seeing you see me,” she wrote.
Jadon and Anias have now both opened their eyes, CNN reported. It’s the first step to becoming separate, healthy boys. “We still cannot hold the boys because they are intubated, so we sit at their bedside and hold their hands, give them messages, and kiss their faces,” wrote McDonald.
She shared her family’s next steps in a Facebook post Oct 15.
“These next few days are all about patience on our part as parents,” she wrote. “Everything changes from hour to hour and we just have to remember that the brain responds in crazy ways when it’s just been cut through.”
Both boys have obstacles to overcome. Jadon has not yet moved the left side of his body. Anias had multiple seizures Friday, including one that lasted 45 minutes. The seizures were stopped with medication.
McDonald wrote a lengthy thank you on her Facebook page, acknowledging medical staff, her husband, the couple’s other 3-year-old son Aza and God. “Dr. Goodrich has been a godsend from the beginning,” she wrote.
Goodrich performed the 16-hour separation surgery at Montefiore Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in the Bronx, New York. It was his seventh cranial separation surgery and only the 59th ever performed in the world since its introduction in 1952.
“They have to go back to a one month old,” Goodrich told CNN after the surgery. “They have to learn to roll. They have to learn to walk. They basically go through a yearlong period of second infancy.”
McDonald has cited the unwavering support of friends and strangers throughout the boys’ journey. As Jadon and Anias recover, she has taken to fundraising for another baby boy in need, her childhood friend’s son Johnny who has stage 5 kidney disease.
Related Link: The Curious Lives of Conjoined Twins.