Parents of conjoined twins decide against surgery

By Amanda Stewart,

Andrew and Garrett Stancombe were born two weeks ago in Indiana, Pennsylvania and were joined from the breast bone to the waist.

Conjoined twins occur once in every 20,000 births and 75 percent of all conjoined births are conjoined at the chest.

The brothers, who share the same chest bone, also share the same heart, according to Science World Report.

Their mother, Michelle Van Horne and father, Kody Stancombe, have chosen to keep the boys conjoined and opt out of the separation surgery. According to ABC News, doctors said that the surgery would be too risky. The twins only had between a 5 and 25 percent chance of survival.

Since the boys share two very vital organs, the parents believe that it is in the best interest of the children to remain conjoined.

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

Van Horne added, “Losing them isn’t an option.” Their mother says that her favorite thing about them is spending time with them. She is so afraid she will lose one or both of them at any moment.

The twins headed home yesterday to join their family and brother, Ryan Stancombe, 2.

"They'll continue to fight until it's their time. We will love them and cherish them until that moment and continue even after,” their mother said.



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