Conjoined twins finally on their way home
Conjoined twins Owen and Emmett Ezell are finally free to go into rehabilitation - and then home - months after a successful separation at a Dallas hospital.
The Ezell twins were born joined from their breastbone to their hipbones, and shared a liver and intestines. They also had a three-inch by five-inch area of their lower stomach that was not covered by skin or muscles. They have lived at the Medical City Children's Hospital in Texas since their birth.
Jenni Ezell, their mother, said the family feels "relief, joy and elation" since news of their discharge was released Monday after doctors noted the boys' improvement, according to ABC News.
Conjoined twins occur in one in 50,000 to 200,000 births. Odds of survival are a dismal 5 to 25 percent, Authint Mail reports.
The now 9-month-olds underwent a nine-hour surgery in August, just six weeks after their birth. Doctors had to separate the liver, intestines and, even more dangerously, the blood vessels in the liver.
"You can never predict what can happen but these little guys are definitely survivors," Dr. Tom Renard, the lead pediatric separation surgeon, told ABC News.
The boys are now being fed via a tube in their abdomens instead of through an IV, and no longer need breathing machines.
They will leave the Dallas hospital for a rehab facility for several weeks, possibly months, before returning home to their two older siblings -- 2-year-old Liam and 7-year-old Ethan.
Although a major victory for the family, obstacles still remain.
"I'll finally have my family together but we are about to face some serious challenges," David Ezell, the twins' father, said. "The really frightening life-or-death stuff is behind us but now we worry how about how we are going to pull the rest of it off."
Jenni and David discovered that their twins were conjoined March 2013 when she was 17 weeks pregnant. The boys were delivered that July.