From his bed next to the window, Jadon squeezes his father’s finger with all his might, even under heavy sedation. Anias rests in a bed near the door of the room, a testament to strength and resilience.
Just the sight of the boys in separate beds came as a surprise to their parents.
“It’s shockingly new,” said their mother, Nicole McDonald. The boys have shared a bed since birth.
Born conjoined at the head, the 13-month-old twins — little “warriors,” their parents call them — spent the weekend recovering from the 27-hour surgery that separated them.
“I can’t wait to put them beside each other and them see each other,” said Christian, their father. “To be honest, I’m just so excited and anxious to see that moment. That’s going to be a great day.”
72 critical hours
The surgery — which began early Thursday and ended shortly before 1 p.m. Friday — took place at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. It was led by neurosurgeon Dr. James Goodrich, considered the leading expert on what’s known as craniopagus surgery.
The first 72 hours of recovery were most critical for long-term survival, doctors told the parents. Christian said the boys were stable and doing well after a weekend of challenges.
Anias suffered a few seizures on Saturday, including one that lasted for 45 minutes, Christian said. The seizures have since been brought under control with the anti-seizure medicine Ativan, he said.
Jadon has yet to move his left side. Though that is troubling, Christian remains optimistic. “That’s not something really worrying Dr. Goodrich right now,” the father said. “He says that’s not out of the ordinary. Hopefully, in time, he will start moving that side.”
Both boys have opened their eyes, although they are heavily sedated and hooked up to an array of medical equipment. They’re too fragile for Mom and Dad to pick them up just yet.
“Jadon will squeeze your fingers and not let go, on his right side,” said Christian. “They’re really doing pretty good, considering the surgery they went through.”
The parents are now in a waiting game as to when Jadon and Anias become fully alert.
Read more about what lies ahead and how the family is staying strong during this difficult time on CNN.