Conjoined twins, Owen and Emmett Ezell, born July 2013 and separated in August at six weeks old, will finally leave the Dallas hospital, where they have been gradually improving since the surgery. They will not be going home quite yet, their move this week, will be to a rehabilitation center to continue to recover and thrive. Their stay could last from a few weeks to a few months.
Jenni and David Ezell found out that their twins were conjoined in March 2013 when she was 17 weeks pregnant. She gave birth to the twins, Owen and Emmett, at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas, Texas in July 2013. The doctors were not certain how long the twins would survive. The boys were joined at the abdomen, from just below the breast bone, to right below the belly button. The babies had many medical concerns when they were born. They shared intestines and a liver, and suffered from omphalacene; a condition where the intestines are contained in a sac outside of the body. They also had a three-inch by five-inch area of their lower stomach that was not covered by skin or muscles.
Once the conjoined twins were born, the doctors went to work finding out every aspect of how the boys were connected. A team of surgeons worked on the infants for nine hours. They separated the liver and intestines, but the hardest part of the surgery was separating a blood vessel in the liver that was shared by the twins.
The formerly conjoined twins have been steadily healing from surgery and growing, and are finally able to leave the hospital at nine months old. They have come a long way from feeding tubes and being hooked to breathing machines. They went from feeding tubes, to IV feedings, to now being fed through tubes in their abdomens. The boys now only need trachea tubes to help them breathe. Lead pediatric separation surgeon, Dr. Tom Renard said “You can never predict what can happen but these little guys are definitely survivors.”
Jenni and David are excited and nervous about their twins finally leaving the hospital. “I’ll finally have my family together but we are about to face some serious challenges” David said. The parents will be learning a lot about how to care for the boys, and their special needs while at the rehab center. Some of these needs include: cleaning trachea tubes, learning about the home ventilator that aides the boys’ breathing, and helping the twins with their rehabilitation exercises.
David explained that the differences in the former conjoined twins personalities make it easy to tell them apart. Emmett is more relaxed than his twin brother, with softer eyes that are more closed. “Owen opens his eyes a little bit wider and is a little more excitable” he said.
The formerly conjoined twins have two older brothers, who are also looking forward to seeing them finally leave the hospital separate, growing, and on the mend. Liam, 2, and Ethan, 7, are among those in the Ezell family who have been waiting for the day to come when their baby brothers finally get to leave the hospital. Jenni and her family have been keeping a blog about their journey, since learning the news of their conjoined twins while she was pregnant. “Our plate is full and we are blessed” said the happy mother on her blog about her sons upcoming hospital releases.
By Twanna Harps