New Life: Rare Surgery to Separate Conjoined Twins
Conjoined twins Jadon and Anias McDonald have been separated in a rare surgery at Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. The near 16-hour procedure separated the 13-month old McDonalds, who were conjoined at the head.
The McDonald family is from Braidwood, Illinois. The twins had three preliminary operations to prepare them for the separation surgery. Twins joined at the head, called craniopagus twins, are exceedingly rare, occurring in one out of every 2.5 million births.
About 40% of the twins are stillborn, and another third die within 24 hours of their birth. Studies have showed that 80% of twins joined at the head die of medical complications by the age of 2 if not separated.
The McDonald family has been chronicling the boys' journey with CNN. Anias has suffered a number of problems, including heart failure and seizures. His mother told CNN he is the 'silent warrior' with a gaze so captivating it's as if "he looks at your soul."
Jadon is described as the 'rambunctious one,' who likes to run in place and tries to roll off the bed to get away from his brother. Doctors said one of the twins could lose some cognitive function because of the separation.