Twin Boys Begin Life Apart After Being Conjoined for 13 Months

Amanda Toolan, Club Liaison

Twin boys Anias and Jadon McDonald were born in September 2015 conjoined at the head. But after 13 months connected, Doctor James Goodrich was able to perform craniopagus separation surgery on October 14th, 2016 that lasted 27 hours.

Parents Nicole and Christian McDonald had to make the agonizing decision of whether to go forward with the surgery or keep the twins connected. The surgery came with major risks, such as possibility of death or long term brain damage. The parents opted for the surgery despite those risks because, according to CNN,

“80% of twins joined at the head die of medical complications by age 2 if not separated”.

But the parents of Anias and Jadon trusted Doctor Goodrich who has pioneered the field, performing multiple twin separation surgeries. None of Goodrich’s conjoined twins have died during the operation. Doctor Goodrich says,

“I established the practice of performing the separation of craniopagus twins in several shorter stages, instead of one single operation lasting more than 50 hours.”

The McDonald twins have had three previous operations with Doctor Goodrich, each resulting in further separation of their brains. October 14th was the fourth and final stage in order to completely separate the twins. After Anias’ and Jadon’s battle through surgery, these next few months are imperative to ensure a healthy and safe recovery.