Par­ents opt not to sep­a­rate con­joined twin boys

Daily Trust - - DIGEST -

With a mi­nus­cule chance both of their con­joined twin boys would sur­vive sep­a­ra­tion surgery, a Penn­syl­va­nia cou­ple has made the de­ci­sion to keep their ba­bies con­joined.

“The best thing is to keep them to­gether,” their mother, Michelle Van Horne, told ABC News. “They were born to­gether they can stay to­gether. It would hurt to lose one and have the other.”

Andrew and Garette Stan­combe were born two weeks ago in In­di­ana, Penn­syl­va­nia., joined from the breast­bone to the waist. Doc­tors said it was too med­i­cally risky to sep­a­rate them, giv­ing them be­tween a 5 and 25 per­cent chance of sur­vival. They share a heart and a liver and, their par­ents said, an un­break­able bond.

“We’re grate­ful they have been able to sur­vive this long and they’re both go­ing strong,” said the boy’s fa­ther, Kody Stan­combe.

Van Horne added, “Los­ing them isn’t an op­tion.”

Van Horne said her fa­vorite thing about her ba­bies is “just spend­ing time with them.” Her big­gest fear is los­ing them.

“I feel like I am liv­ing on pins and nee­dles,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal of Philadel­phia, con­joined twins oc­cur once for ev­ery 50,000 to 60,000 births and ap­prox­i­mately 75 per­cent of con­joined twins are joined at the chest.

Culled from

Con­joined twins, Andrew and Gar­rett Stan­combe, were born last week in a Penn­syl­va­nia hospi­tal. Doc­tors say it is too risky to sep­a­rate them.

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