This is the first photo of conjoined twins Anias and Jadon McDonald sleeping in their own beds after their 20-hour separation surgery.
It was touch-and-go as to whether or not the 13-month-old boys would make it through the operation on Thursday.
Halfway through, the lead surgeon discovered that they shared far more vascular tissue than he had anticipated – a 5x7cm segment.
He managed to complete the procedure, though it placed Anias in an incredibly delicate position. He needed another seven hours of surgery as his heart rate plummeted.
But now, four days later, the brothers are on the road to recovery, lying side by side in adjacent hospital beds in the Bronx’s Montefiore Hospital.
Jadon and Anias lying side by side in adjacent beds in the Bronx’s Montefiore Hospital
Their mother Nicole McDonald shared a photo of them together when they were first reunited on Friday afternoon.
‘Finally reunited. How surreal,’ the 31-year-old wrote on Facebook.
‘I now realize that I always saw you as separate because seeing you like this is really nothing different to me.
‘When I stand at your bedside, Jadon, it’s almost as if Anias is still there. Anias, when I leaned over you I protected my hair from Jadon. But the view is still the same.
‘This is how I always saw you. I love you so much. Now it’s time to step forward into the new chapter of our life. I’m ready to fight and I know you are too.’
She added: ‘Thank you, Dr Goodrich, Dr Tepper, Kamilah, Martine, Dr Kahana, Dr Mann and everyone else at Montefiore. Your hands performed a miracle today. We love you.’
Nicole said that neither she nor her husband Christian initially wanted to go public with their story, until they realized it would provide the chance to give credit to the people who saved their sons.
The mother-of-three has been flooded with supportive messages on her Facebook, but Nicole now wanted to turn the attention ‘back to the true heroes of our story’.
‘The real heroes of this story are the people who have put countless hours, days and months into the success of today,’ she began in her Facebook post on Saturday.
Conjoined twins Jadon (left) and Anias (right) were successfully seperated on Thursday
Their mother Nicole McDonald wrote a touching Facebook post on Saturday thanking their doctors and nurses, as well as her husband and older son, calling them the ‘real heroes’