Anias and Jadon Mcdonald were born on September 9, 2015, 11:11 pm to Nicole and Christian McDonald of Illinois through an unscheduled C-section. Nicole gave birth to a conjoined twin, both boys. Parents described them as rambunctious and contemplative. They also have a three year older brother named Aza. The boys shared 1.5 to 2 inches of brain tissue. At 13 months, they may be normal, but if not separated immediately, complications may arise starting from the age of 2.
The boys’ doctor, Dr. James Goodrich, is the most experienced craniopagus neurosurgeon in the world. The boys’ surgery would be his seventh separation surgery. They have used 3D image mapping to see where to make the incision as to make the success rate of the operation higher. The operation was held at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Nicole and Christian left their town along with their jobs for the Bronx because it was nearer the hospital. They depended on donations to get by through every day in the hospital. People have been so generous that from 50,000 dollars, their GoFundMe page went to more than 250,000 dollars.
The surgical team said that the operation could last up to 20 hours. The operation commended Thursday and ended shortly before 1 pm Friday, last week. The separation surgery was the fourth procedure for the boys and was the most complicated. 2:11 am, the conjoined twin became two separate boys. There was a moment occurred Friday afternoon that was so moving, when the parents hoped for a brave Anias to come out of the operating room, since Jadon had already been wheeled out to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit an hour earlier.
At about 1 pm Friday, the medical team showed up, leading Anias to the PICU. Nicole and Christian were filled with joy and gratitude as they kissed their little boy. The next 72 hours were the most critical hours for the twin. As Dr. Goodrich said, the longer the surgery, the longer the recovery it would take. Anias suffered a few seizures; one even lasted for 45 minutes but was brought under control by Ativan, a medicine. Jadon has trouble turning to his left but was considered as just an expected outcome of the operation. Hopefully, he should be moving his head anytime. Both the boys are now conscious, though still heavily under sedation. Dr. Oren Tepper, a plastic surgeon, said that the boys would still have to undergo a series of reconstruction, but as far as the result of the recent operation, it went as expected.
Jadon is now in bed next to the window while Anias is at the bed near the door. Jadon would squeeze his dad’s finger as hard as he can while Anias would peacefully rest in his bed.
Nicole said that seeing them in separate beds is shockingly new to them but they were so excited to have seen them separated from each other.
While they were waiting for the full recovery of their boys, overwhelming messages of family, friends and strangers flooded their page. It kept them positive all throughout, even during the procedure. Nicole posted in Facebook her gratitude towards the people who helped them out through prayers, donations and moral support. She also gave gratitude to the medical team who made the operation a success, headed by Dr. Goodrich. She said that without God, they would have unravelled many, many months ago; people said that they have handled the situation with grace, but it’s with God’s grace they continued to go on, Nicole added.
Jadon and Anias were their little warriors.