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Parents of conjoined twins decide against risky surgery

By Elizabeth Learned,

Just a week after it was reported that a set of conjoined twins, who were successfully separated, were on their way out of the hospital, another pair of conjoined twins made the news. Twin baby boys Garrett and Andrew Stancombe of Indiana, Penn. were born on April 10, sharing a heart and a liver.

According to CBS News, parents Michelle Van Horne and Kody Stancombe decided it would be best to leave the infants joined since surgery to separate them would most likely “put both their lives at serious risk.” When they had found out the babies were conjoined during the early stages of her pregnancy, it was feared the babies could die before or after they were born.

Van Horne told ABC News, “The best thing is to keep them together.” She also said it would be too painful to lose one infant and still have the other infant.

Doctors had told the couple the boys would have a 5 percent to 25 percent chance of surviving the risky surgery if they had gone with that option.

Last week, as earlier reported, 9-month-old twins Owen and Emmitt Ezell were released from the hospital after surgery last summer. They shared a liver and intestines, but doctors were able to separate the organs.

According to CBS News, depending on where conjoined twins are fused, their survival rates can vary. The Stancombe twins are thoracopagus twins, which is common, but also poses a great risk to the twins if they are separated, since the heart is shared.

Kody Stancombe reportedly said, “We’re grateful they have been able to survive this long and they’re both going strong,” ABC News reported.

 
 

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