One of two twin brothers, Conner, born conjoined in December of 2014 was released from a Jacksonville hospital Wednesday. His brother Carter, while doing well, will remain in the hospital for now.
Brother doing well but will remain in the hospital for now
Conner and Carter were born conjoined at at the abdomen and shared a small intestine as well as having fused livers after a cesarean section was performed on their mother over thirteen months.
Conjoined births occur in one out of between 100,000 and 200,000 births. After their birth, the two brothers were transferred to the Wolfson’s Neonatal Intensive Unit. This was the first conjoined birth at UF Health Jacksonville and the first to be treated in the 60 year history of Wolfson’s.
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While the doctors would have preferred to wait longer, the decision to separate the two in a 12-hour surgery was made in early May of 2015. The decision to separate the two was made when the smaller of the brothers, Carter, was felt to be losing out in the battle for nutritional resources.
While Connor weighed 22 pounds at discharge, his brother Carter who weighs 16 pounds will remain in the hospital.
“He’s actually thriving,” said Daniel Robie, one of the pediatric surgeons who led the team that performed numerous operations on the boys. “He just has a little bit more to go through.”
That team consisted of over 200 doctors and health care workers and will be missed by each.
“It’s going to be difficult for us to give him up but he’s going to where he needs to be with his mother and father,” Robie said.
The family speaks about the conjoined / separated boys
“The boys are doing fine,” said their mother, Michelle Brantley. “They have made it through everything.”
“I want him to play with his toys,” Brantley said.
The boys’ father, Bryan Mirabal, was looking forward to showing Conner the things that matter most to him.
“I’m an outdoorsman,” Mirabal said. “I’m going to take my boy outside and show him where I fish.”
While the boys have been together since their birth and through their hospitalization, the parents have rarely seen each other. Brantley has been with the boys in the hospital nearly constantly while Mirabal has been working two jobs as a mechanic and a pizza cook.
During today’s press event, Mirabal quickly corrected himself when asked about his two jobs.
“I have three jobs now,” he said. “Mechanic, cook and dad.”