Conjoined twins were successfully separated at the age of six weeks despite the parents’ choice to abort. "We didn't think they had a chance, that they weren't going to make it at all, so we decided to abort and it was the hardest decision that a mother has to make,” said the mother of the two conjoined twins, according to an Aug. 30, 2013, CBS News report.
After a delicate nine-hour operation at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas, the conjoined twins, six-week-old Owen and Emmett Ezell, are alive after a team of surgeons separated the liver and intestines. “Doctors said the most difficult part was separating a shared blood vessel in the liver.”
When the conjoined twins were born on July 15, the boys were joined from just below the breast bone to just below the belly button. They shared a liver and intestines and had an exposed area on their belly that wasn't covered by skin or muscle.
"At this point they're as stable as we could hope for post-operatively," said Dr. Clair Schwenueman, a neonatologist.
On Thursday, Jenni Ezell, the conjoined twin’s mother, said during a news conference at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas that “I'm just so happy that they're here and they're alive and thriving. It's the best feeling in the world.”
Tearfully, with her husband Dave Ezell by her side, the mother of the conjoined twins tells the story of how a choice of abortion turned into a choice for life.
On March 1, when Jenni was 17 weeks pregnant, doctors told her and her husband that the unborn twins were conjoined and that there was little hope for the unborn conjoined twins to survive.
"We didn't think they had a chance, that they weren't going to make it at all," said Jenni, who is 31 years old like her husband. "So we decided to abort and it was the hardest decision that a mother has to make."
When Jenni and Dave went to the Dallas clinic that was to do the abortion, doctors there expressed concerns about a scar from previous cesarean sections that might tear, and they were sent to Medical City for a consultation about the scar tissue.
During the visit at Medical City, “a doctor unexpectedly told the parents that there was hope for their unborn boys.”
"I could not contain my joy," said Jenni Ezell, who added that since they weren't even looking for a second opinion, she felt that through the whole process God was leading them to "exactly where we needed to be."
"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," she said tearfully.
What Jenni Ezell does know today is that without that one doctor’s second opinion, her six-week-old conjoined twin boys Owen and Emmett would not be alive -- and that the conjoined twins’ two older brothers , a seven-year-old and a 16-month-old, would never get to hold them.