Anias McDonald, left, stares at his brother Jadon for the first time since the surgery that separated them.

Anias McDonald, left, stares at his brother Jadon for the first time since the surgery that separated them.

An update on Jadon and Anias via CNN Health
“Separated twins: After hardest surgery, the quickest recovery”
November 22nd, 2016

Like millions of people worldwide, I’ve been following the story of Jadon and Anias McDonald. Conjoined twins, separated (recently) after a grueling 27 hour procedure. Read this blog post for some background on the story:

That brings us to today’s update. In the four weeks following the boys’ surgery, Mom (Nicole) and Dad (Christian) have not seen their babies without large bandages atop their heads. Well, for Jadon, that is no longer the case! For a brief moment while Jadon was having his bandages changed, the McDonald’s got to see their boy’s head.

Jadon McDonald smiles and waves at his father shortly after his head dressing was removed / CNN Health

Jadon McDonald smiles and waves at his father shortly after his head dressing was removed / CNN Health

It’s the most amazing thing. I just can’t even believe it. And look at his little hair. On top, it’s growing in!
— Nicole
Hey there, my man. You sure are handsome. Look at you. You look like a perfect little boy.
— Christian

Anias has been on the mend as well, though progressing more slowly than Jadon. Dr. Goodrich (the amazing surgeon who performed the separation) explains that with twins joined at the head, there is always a dominant child. This child does double the work, their heart and lungs work overtime to keep both boys alive. Anias is the non-dominant child. This explains his post-op struggles with breathing and eating (which were an issue pre-op as well).

Despite that, Dr. Goodrich says both boys are doing very, very well and “ahead of schedule” when it comes to their recovery which “makes everyone happy.”

“Historically, this will be the fastest (recovery)” which he credits to being “Just good kids”.

Goodrich informed the family of the successful separation at about 3 a.m. on Friday, October 14. “Well, we did it,” he told them.

Goodrich informed the family of the successful separation at about 3 a.m. on Friday, October 14. “Well, we did it,” he told them.

The boys are 14 months old and set to move to rehab shortly after Thanksgiving (US). Jadon is ready to go now but the medical staff have agreed it’s best to keep the boys together at this stage so they can pursue rehab in a similar capacity. Anias does not have the same range of motions as Jadon but caregivers believe he will get there.

Unlike most children their age, Jadon and Anias have not reached the typical milestones like crawling, lifting their heads, standing or attempting to walk. The surgery has set them back to infancy. Luckily, Mom is a pediatric physical therapist!

A poem in the boys hospital room reads:

I’m your twin
You’re my twin
We stick together through thick and thin
No matter what I do
I’m always stuck with you.

With both boys being “way ahead of schedule” in their recovery, the family knows it will be a long road. Lead plastic surgeon Dr. Oren Tepper says that Anias will eventually need more surgery to try to create a new skull cap out of bone from his hip or rib. He will progress, for the next few years, just fine so long as he wears a protective helmet. Both Jadon and Anias will be wearing helmets before going into rehab.

They’re really doing a lot better than I’d hoped. The whole world has gotten behind these kids.
— Dr. Tepper

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