Conjoined Twins Will Stay Together
Ellisha Rader Mannering
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When conjoined twins Garrett and Andrew Stancombe were born a few weeks ago, their parents had to make a very hard decision. Would they choose to leave their baby boys together or would they allow them to undergo a risky surgery that could cause one or both of the babies to die.
For parents Michelle Van Horne and Kody Stancombe, the choice was a difficult one. Doctors weren’t sure if the babies would survive the surgery or live very long if they were left conjoined.
Michelle and Kody decided that the risks associated with the surgery were too great and that they would keep their boys together.
The babies were allowed to go home just four days after they were born, but doctors warned their parents that they were not sure how long they would survive.
“They could be with us here tomorrow and gone the next second. A month down they could be gone. They could turn into teenagers,” said Van Horne. “We don’t know and that’s the difficulty.”
Conjoined twins are the result of one fertilized egg that divides into two fetuses that fail to separate. They are rare and very few of them live for more than a few days.
The overall survival rate of conjoined twins is only 5 to 25 percent. In spite of these odds, the Stancombe twins are thriving and seem to be healthy.
According to their parents, they do everything normal, healthy babies do. Michelle and Kody are confident that they made the right choice and hope that their sons can lead normal, happy and healthy lives.
“I’m thankful they were able to survive this long, and they’re still going strong,” said their father.
Do you think the parents made the right choice to keep the conjoined twins together or should they have separated them?
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