A pair of North Texas conjoined twins who were separated in a risky surgery last year finally went home Thursday, almost 11 months after their birth.
“Just imagining having two healthy happy babies home,” mother Jenni Ezell said through tears. “This is it. This is what… it’s what we’ve been waiting for.”
Owen and Emmett Ezell were released from Our Children’s House at Baylor rehabilitation center in Dallas, where they received therapy after separation surgery was performed in August at Medical City Children’s Hospital.
“I am so excited,” Jenni Ezell said. “I am so glad to be on this side of the whole process. It’s incredible.”
On July 15, 2013, the brothers were born conjoined at the stomach, connected from the chest to the belly button and sharing a liver and intestines. Since the risky separation surgery, performed by doctors at Medical City Children’s Hospital when they were 1-month-old, the boys have undergone countless procedures, experienced a few set-backs and had to undergo nearly two months of rehab.
But in the past few weeks doctors announced the boys were finally healthy enough to go home.
Little Emmett was alert and bright eyed as his parents prepared for the trip to their Grand Prairie home. Owen was more subdued, due to a mild infection. Treatment for the infection delayed their release, which was scheduled for Wednesday. Owen went home with antibiotics.
Two ambulances carried the boys to their Grand Prairie home, and once there Jenni Ezell couldn’t hide her emotions.
Both boys are breathing on their own, but are still receiving oxygen through throat tubes that will remain in place for now. After so much special care from doctors and nurses, Jenni Ezell is nervous about having the boys at home. A nurse will be at the Ezell home 24/7 to help the parents with the boys.
“It does, but we have a support system. Everybody said we’re more than welcome to call. And come back and visit,” Jenni Ezell said.
She said the twins must also make progress eating and growing. The parents hope the toddlers can now learn to crawl and walk at home like normal kids.
“We’ve still got milestones to meet, but we’re so much closer,” Jenni Ezell said.
Their father, Dave Ezell, said the twins' two older brothers are looking forward to having their new siblings at home.
“The truth is, the more we have each other, close to each other, especially bringing these boys home, the stronger this family is going to get,” Dave Ezell said.
NBC 5's Amanda Guerra contributed to this story.