-- A Florida family is welcoming their son home from the hospital more than a year after he was born conjoined with his twin brother.
The boys -- Conner and Carter -- were born in December 2014 conjoined along the abdomen and shared a small intestine and fused livers. The two infants had to go through multiple surgeries to survive, including a 12-hour surgery to separate the boys last May, according to Nemours Children’s Specialty Care and the Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.
Conner is getting to spend his first full day at home today with his parents. Conner's father, Bryan Mirabal, said during a news conference on Wednesday that he was eager to finally get to spend time with his son away from the hospital.
"It’s teaching time," Mirabal said he's eager to teach his son about cars and dogs. "That’s the fun part, getting to be a dad."
Conner's brother Carter is still being treated at the hospital, according to their mother, Michelle Brantley.
Until Wednesday, Conner had spent his entire life at the hospital and at least 200 health care professionals have worked with Conner and Carter -- from surgeons to pediatric nurses, according to the Wolfson Children’s Hospital.
When Conner was discharged from the hospital, it also meant the 13-month-old had to say goodbye to his brother for the first time. Brantley said the two boys got to play for a bit before Conner was taken home.
When Carter saw Conner "he started crying, but Conner was smiling at him and they were grabbing each other’s hands," Brantley said at Wednesday's news conference. "I don’t think they quite understand that they’re brothers yet, but they'll get there."
Dr. Daniel Robie,a surgeon with Nemours Children’s Specialty Care and pediatric surgeon at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, said he and his staff were going to miss Conner after getting to see him every day for over a year.
"It’s going to be difficult for us to give him up but he’s going to where he needs to be with his mother and father," Robie said.
While Conner is just 13 months old, the infant appeared to grasp he was saying good-bye to the medical staff who cared for him. Video released by the hospital showed Conner in his car seat waving at the medical staff as his parents prepared to take him home.