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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

After a very long weekend, the Ezells made the decision to have an abortion. They went to an Oklahoma abortion clinic, but were told it was too complicated of a case to take. They were then referred to a Dallas abortion clinic, where staff worried about how long the abortion would take and the potential complications for Jenni Ezell.

They referred the Ezells to a maternal fetal medicine specialist for an examination to determine if the procedure would be safe for Jenni Ezell.

Dave Ezell said throughout the pregnancy and since the twins were born, they've experienced interventions, moments where their boys survived, despite what was expected to happen.

For example, the Dallas specialist performed a sonogram and told them the babies didn't look like they had any defects.

“He said, ‘As far as I can tell, their only condition is being conjoined,'” Dave Ezell said. “At that point, that's when he was like, ‘You've got other options.' He basically said we can perform a separation ... He basically gave us hope that we hadn't had at any point up to then.”

‘Nothing more precious'

The boys are omphalopagus conjoined twins, connected at the umbilical region, or at their mid-abdomens.

On Saturday, at 40 days old, the boys will undergo surgery to be separated. Doctors in Dallas will separate their single liver into one for each boy.

They also share a duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. Where the duodenum would normally be, between the stomach and the middle part of the small intestine, the boys' comes together as a single large one. Doctors hope there will be enough tissue to make one for each baby.

Throughout the pregnancy and birth, Jenni Ezell has blogged. On Aug. 12, she wrote a blog post after she and her husband met with their doctor to discuss the twins' surgery. She felt sad, fearful, tired, worried and helpless.

“I understand, now, the helplessness of the human race,” she wrote. “We are weak. I understand, now, the transience of life. We all succumb to death. I understand, now, the joy of new life. There is nothing more precious.”

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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