Couple Michelle and Bryan Mirabal had Wolfson Children’s Hospital to thank for. Their conjoined twins did not only survive at birth but they were also separated successfully. The formerly conjoined twins recently graduated from kindergarten and their parents couldn’t be happier.
When the couple found out Michelle was pregnant after having their first son, Gage, they were very surprised. They were more shocked when the doctor said they were having twins and they were conjoined.
The couple feared the future and expected the worse. The doctors said there’s a slim chance of survival for conjoined twins, as this is a very rare occurrence. A lot of people also convinced them to consider abortion as it would be the more compassionate thing to do.
“The judgment we’re getting is something else. There were people telling us we should have terminated the pregnancy. There were people telling us we shouldn’t carry this out,” Michelle said.
Despite all the negativities and pressure from other people, the couple still chose to give the twins a chance at life. Michelle was also at risk of miscarrying but this didn’t dishearten them. They held on to that little chance of survival, hoping their kids would come out safely and get to experience the beauty of this world.
On December 12, 2014, the couple’s most awaited day came. Michelle safely gave birth to twins Conner and Carter Mirabal but they had to stay at the NICU for a few months until their separation surgery.
The twins underwent an operation at the Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville. Because they were omphalopagus twins, which is the most common type of conjoined twins, the doctors successfully separated them in a 15-hour surgery. The couple was very thankful for the staff at Wolfson Children’s Hospital who showed so much support for their twins.
After their separation surgery, the twins still underwent numerous surgeries on their intestines, each spending time on a feeding tube and a ventilator. They were finally able to go home after a year.
“We are blessed to be going through it because this doesn’t just happen to anybody, and they are miracle babies,” said Michelle.
Since then, the twins have been growing and thriving like other kids. They began preschool last fall and earlier this year, they had back surgery. Though it’s a mishmash of happy and sad events for their twins, Michelle and Bryan are still glad about how things worked out for their family.
They continue to update on social media and share the progress of their twins. Recently, they had good news for everyone: Carter and Conner just graduated from preschool.
“These two have accomplished and been through so much in their short lives,” the couple wrote on Facebook. “Between being born conjoined, having a 15-hour separation surgery. Poked, prodded, no peace, living in the hospital until they were over a year old.
Therapies, doctors, more surgeries. G-tubes, feeds, learning to eat and walk and talk, and now here they are!! Graduating pre-k, something doctors didn’t know if they were gonna be able to do! Conner and Carter, we couldn’t be more proud!”
Of course, all the twin’s accomplishments were possible because of their parents who didn’t give up on them and continue to fight for their precious lives.