Conjoined twins strengthen family's love

Surgery is scheduled for Saturday to attempt to separate boys joined at abdomen.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: August 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: August 22, 2013

At some point, Jenni and Dave Ezell will relax.

They take each day individually, not allowing their minds to wonder if their infant twin sons will be OK tomorrow or next week.

“We don't talk like we're going to lose one or both of them,” said Jenni Ezell, who until last month lived in Guthrie, and has family in Oklahoma. “Even to each other, we talk like we're going to have two babies. I don't think we want to even think that.”

The Ezells are parents to identical twins conjoined at their abdomens. On Saturday, a team of almost 40 surgeons, doctors and nurses will work to separate the boys, who were born July 15 in Dallas.

There's a 30 percent chance that both boys will survive.

There's a 30 percent chance that only one of the boys will live.

“30 percent is being optimistic,” Jenni Ezell wrote in her blog, titled “The Ezell Twins.”

Jenni Ezell cries often — but if you ask her about that time she spends with Emmett and Owen, she shines, a smile spreading across her face, a mother beaming with love.

She spends about 12 hours a day in the neonatal intensive care unit at a Dallas hospital with her boys. During “hands-on” time, she helps the hospital staff with various things the boys have to go through each day.

“When they're awake and it's not hands-on time, I love on them, and I get in their little faces and play music for them and pat them,” she said.

She plays a piece by composer Frederic Chopin that some refer to as the “Raindrop” prelude. She gets online and shops for them. A mobile with wooden dragons hangs above their hospital bed. They have a toy snail that lights up.

Surviving despite expectations

Dave and Jenni Ezell were almost not parents of Emmett and Owen.

The Ezells lived in Guthrie until early July with their two sons, Ethan, 7, and Liam, 1. They moved to Dallas because they found a doctor who gave them hope for their yet-to-be-born boys.

An Oklahoma City doctor had earlier told them otherwise. He told them the boys would likely be born with birth defects and didn't have a good chance of living. If they did survive, the doctor painted a grim picture, including heart defects and a very poor quality of life.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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