Jadon and Anias McDonald underwent a rare surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City on Thursday that lasted more than 20 hours as doctors carefully separated the boys, according to the hospital's Facebook page. Anias is still being operated on, while his brother Jadon was sent into recovery a few hours ago, according to a Facebook post by the boys' mother, Nicole McDonald.
"They're so perfect, they're beautiful little boys," Nicole McDonald told ABC's New York station WABC-TV.
McDonald posted updates today about the boys on Facebook as the operation continued. When Jadon came out of surgery, she wrote that at first she was confused to see two separate beds.
"I actually asked why they rearranged the room because I hadn't really internalized the idea that there would be 2 beds in here," she wrote on Facebook.
The operation was so difficult that Dr. James Goodrich, a pediatric neurosurgeon leading the operation at Montefiore, nearly decided to stop the surgery because the boys shared so much brain tissue, McDonald wrote.
"There was a point where Dr Goodrich debated stopping the whole procedure because it was just too risky but an opening presented itself and they went for it and it ended up being the right call," McDonald wrote on Facebook. She wrote that doctors found the twins shared more brain tissue than previously realized and there was no clear way to separate them.
"I didn't cry until the surgeon's left the room," McDonald wrote. "I was barely able to even utter the words 'thank you' because of the pit that still sits heavy in my stomach."
The twins are joined at the head, meaning they are craniopagus conjoined twins.
Despite being born with a condition that is so rare it affects just 2 percent of conjoined twins, Anais and Jadon are still just like other babies, their mother told WABC.
"My favorite thing is to sit here and hear them talking with each other down the hallway. They talk back and forth," McDonald told WABC in an earlier interview. "They're beautiful."