Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated


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Jenni Ezell gave birth to her twin boys on July 15. This should have been the happiest moment of her life, but instead it was the most frightening.

The boys, Owen and Emmett Ezell, were born as conjoined twins. They were attached from just below the chest to right above the belly button. Jenni and her husband Dave knew that the boys would need to be separated, however because they shared a liver and intestines and had a birth defect, it made the operation more risky than it already was.

"The whole pregnancy was very frightening. I didn't know what would happen. I didn't know if they would make it. It's hard as a mom to know that," said Jenni.

The Ezell's found out that Jenni was carrying conjoined twins in March, and was told by her doctor that they would have little chance of survival and should consider aborting the babies. They were then forced to make the toughest decision that any parent has to make: What is the best thing for my child?

"We didn't think they had a chance," Jenni said. "We thought they were not going to make it at all. So we decided to abort. It was the hardest decision that a mother has to make about her babies."

After speaking to the doctors, the Ezell's originally made the heart wrenching decision to abort their babies. However, the doctors at Medical City Dallas told them that they believed that the boys stood a chance of survival. They were told that they stood an approximate 30 to 50 percent chance of survival by Dr. Clare Schwendeman, a neonatologist at Medical City Children's Hospital. This was completely unexpected news for the Ezells, as they had originally went to the Dallas Clinic to have the abortion and then they were sent to Medical City because the doctors had some concerns that her scar from her previous c-section might rip.

The Ezells were not seeking a second opinion when they were informed that the boys could survive. Jenni says that she knows that it was all God's work and him leading them to "exactly where we needed to be."

The boys underwent their surgery to be separated on August 24. The surgery was a complete success, however the Ezells are not sure when they will get to bring their little miracles home. Owen and Emmett are currently hooked to breathing machines and are still recovering from the surgery.

"I'm just so happy that they're here and they're alive and thriving. It's the best feeling in the world," Jenni Ezell said Thursday during a news conference at Medical City Children's Hospital.

What does the future hold for these two beautiful boys? Jenni posted her thoughts and plans for them on her blog:

As far as the rest of the future steps, I know healing, breathing independently of machines, and feeding are on the horizon, but I am not sure what the individual steps will be, and I'm not sure how long it will take. I'm hoping we will get to take them home by Christmas, but that might be wishful thinking.