Dallas babies Owen and Emmett Ezell aren't even a year old, and they are already making international headlines. The once-conjoined twins are set to be released from Medical City Children's Hospital on Wednesday, April 16 — one day after their 9-month birthday.
The babies aren't headed home just yet, as they still require feeding and breathing tubes. Owen and Emmett will live at an inpatient rehabilitation center while their parents, Jenni and Dave, learn how to manage their health on their own.
Owen and Emmett Ezell spent six weeks in the NICU before gaining enough strength to undergo separation surgery.
When Owen and Emmett were born on July 15, 2013, they weighed a combined 11 pounds, 15 ounces.
They spent six weeks in Medical City's Level 4 NICU before gaining enough strength to undergo separation surgery on August 24. The boys had been joined from breast bone to belly button.
After the successful surgery in August, Dave and Jenni Ezell said making decisions about the complicated birth of their sons was the hardest thing they've ever had to do. When an MRI showed the twins were conjoined, the couple's first doctor recommended they abort the babies, because they had such a small chance of surviving.
"It was the hardest decision a mother has to make about her babies," Jenni said through tears as she recalled the experience. But the doctor preparing to do the abortion sent Jenni to Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas for a second opinion. That was when a doctor told the Ezells there was a good chance the boys could survive birth and beyond.
"I could not contain my joy," Jenni said. "From that point on, we have stuck with Medical City."
The couple praised the doctors, nurses and surgeons at Medical City, calling them close friends and practically family. "I guess the lesson here is, have faith," Dave said.