Conjoined twins successfully separated

Surgeons in Dallas were able to successfully separate month-old conjoined twins, Owen and Emmett Ezell, who were born attached at the midsection and shared several organs.

Emmett Ezell. (Medical City Children's Hospital)
Emmett Ezell. (Medical City Children's Hospital)

Two infant boys born conjoined have been successfully separated after a surgery in Dallas over the weekend.

Jenni Ezell gave birth to Owen and Emmett July 15, a moment that was, for a long time, uncertain. When Ezell and her husband Dave learned of her twins' predicament in March, doctors recommended they end the pregnancy.


"We didn't think they had a chance," Jenni Ezell said. "We thought they were not going to make it at all. So we decided to abort. It was the hardest decision that a mother has to make about her babies."

But then, doctors at Medical City Dallas said the boys -- joined from breast bone to belly button, sharing a liver and bowels and with their intestines formed outside their bodies -- stood a chance.

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"The best number is probably somewhere between 30- and 50-percent -- that you will have two surviving twins,” explained Dr. Clare Schwendeman, a neonatologist at Medical City Children's on the team taking care of Owen and Emmett.

So the Ezells decided to put their faith in the abilities of their doctors, and a month after the boys were born, they were successfully separated.

"They’re still on some medications to keep them calm,” Schwendeman said. “At this point, they’re as stable as we could hope for, postoperatively.”

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While the road for Emmett and Owen will still be rough, with more surgeries ahead, Jenni and Dave Ezell can start planning for their babies' tomorrows, even if they can't hold them yet.

“Taking them home and having Christmas with them -- I’m already planning their first birthday parties,” Jenni Ezell said, “just everything. I’m looking forward to everything.”

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