Conjoined twins Jadon and Anias McDonald made it out of surgery, their mother Nicole McDonald announced Friday afternoon on Facebook. The day began for the 13-month-old boys with a 16-hour surgery to separate their skulls before both boys underwent additional procedures to reconstruct their skulls.
The boys were dressed in warrior shirts emblazoned with the infinity symbol as they entered surgery. Jadon was the first out of surgery Friday at around 9 A.M. after Dr. James Goodrich successfully separated the boys' heads at Montefiore Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in the Bronx, New York. Jadon's vitals remained stable during the surgery, but Anias struggled throughout the original operation when his heart rate and blood pressure dropped significantly. McDonald announced at one point that the hospital staff had to reopen Anias' incision and do additional surgery on the boy.
The McDonald family waited nervously for Anias to be released from his final surgery. Thirty hours after the boys went into the operating room, Anias finally emerged, separated from his brother for the first time ever.
McDonald expressed her overflowing joy at seeing her two individual babies on Facebook after the surgery. "Happy rebirth day," she wrote on Facebook.
The road to recovery will be a long and bumpy one for the twins and the McDonald family, who struggled immensely with the risks of the procedure before finally deciding on the surgery. “They go back to a 1-month-old,” Goodrich told CNN. “They have to learn to sit. They have to learn to roll. They have to learn to walk. They basically go through a yearlong period of a second infancy.” It's possible that Anias will temporarily not be able to move one of both sides of his body due to the surgery's complications.
The surgery was the hardest Goodrich has ever performed, McDonald relayed. It was the doctor’s seventh separation surgery and only the 59th cranial separation performed in the world since 1952, CNN reported.