Jenni Ezell might go ahead and put the Christmas tree up now.
Ezell is going to be busy between now and December, and there are two special reasons why she can't wait for Christmas to arrive this year, she said.
Their names are Emmett and Owen — Ezell's previously conjoined twins. The boys were successfully separated at a Dallas hospital on Saturday, and are expected to be released from the hospital and taken home right before Christmas.
Until Saturday, Ezell and her husband, Dave, took each day individually, spending as much time as they could with the twins, who were born July 15 conjoined at the abdomen.
After a successful surgery, the parents — who until last month lived in Guthrie, but opted to move to Dallas to seek medical treatment — are free to think about what their boys will look like or the sports they'll like to play or what their favorite food will be.
“Someday, I get to sit down with these two boys and tell them their story, tell them what they went through,” Dave Ezell said. “There are pictures and photos and emails, and we can look at those and say, ‘Look at all these people who did all of this for you guys.'”
A team of about 40 doctors, surgeons and nurses worked together for roughly nine hours to separate Emmett and Owen.
The surgery came with a substantial amount of risk. One or both of the boys could have been lost.
Before the boys went back to surgery Saturday, the team of doctors and nurses stopped before passing through the double doors to the operating room. The Ezells said goodbye to the boys before the team walked the boys out of sight.
“As a mother, I hope I never have to experience a moment like that again,” Jenni Ezell wrote in her “Ezell Twins” blog on Tuesday. “I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't know if I would see my babies alive again, if I would see only one, or if I would see them after they had gone to be with their creator.”
During surgery, the medical team had to separate the boys' shared liver and other parts of their digestive system. The Ezells sat in the hospital waiting room, getting updates every hour or so.
“Every time that phone rang, my heart stopped,” Dave Ezell said. “The moment that thing rang, you feel like someone's calling you to tell you things are going to south.”
But that didn't happen. Rather, time after time, the phone call would be to share good news — that the boys were still doing well. It was hard for the Ezells to believe that trend would continue.
On Tuesday, the boys started to open their eyes and wiggle around. They have more surgeries ahead of them and they'll remain in the hospital to heal.
Both parents attribute the success of the surgery to the thousands of people who prayed for Emmett and Owen.
“It was God,” Jenni Ezell said. “There's no other explanation. I was talking to the doctors and the surgeons and the nurses, and they're like, ‘This is incredible.' Even the surgeons were saying, ‘This wasn't us. There was a bigger hand in this.'”