New York (CNN)Twin baby boys conjoined at the head were successfully divided early Friday at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
Jadon and Anias McDonald, 13-month-old twins, had begun their surgery Thursday. The separation treatment lasted more than 16 hours and was observed by several hours more of surgery to reconstruct their skulls and make them whole.
Jadon was the first of the boys to be done with. He was wheeled out of the operating room around 7:40 a.m. on a stretcher, his well shaped head covered in white gauze. He was taken on an elevator to the pediatric intensive care unit on the 10th floor, where he was reunited with his parents, Nicole and Christian McDonald.
“My boy,” Christian said with tears in his eyes.
Nicole bent over in tears.
As of 8 a.m., Anias was still undergoing surgery.
On her Facebook page, Nicole shared an image of her son, Jadon.
The surgery was run by Dr. James Goodrich, considered the trusted expert on what’s known as craniopagus surgery.
It marked the seventh separation surgery performed by Goodrich — and just the 59th craniopagus separation surgery in the world since 1952.
The McDonald twins was his longest craniopagus surgery, surpassing 22 hours.
Nicole and Christian had to make an agonizing decision, opting for the procedure even though it carried major risks, including the possibility of death or long-term brain damage for one or both boys.
Goodrich informed the family of the separation around 3 a.m.
“Well, we did it,” Goodrich said.
Earlier on her Facebook page, Nicole wrote: “TWO SEPARATE BABIES!!!…and yet I ache with the anxiety of the future. I didn’t cry until the doctors left the room. I was hardly able to even utter the words ‘thank you’ because of the pit that still sits heavy in my stomach. We are standing on the verge of a vast unknown. The next few months will be crucial in terms of improvement and we will not know for sure how Anias and Jadon are recovering for many weeks.”