Once-conjoined twins leave Texas hospital

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Associated Press

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 9:02 AM

DALLAS (AP) — Conjoined twins separated last summer were released Wednesday from the Dallas hospital that's been their home since birth.

The 9-month-old boys born joined at the abdomen were separated at Medical City Children's Hospital last August, about a month after their birth. Owen and Emmett Ezell, who shared a liver and intestines when born, are expected to spend the next three to four weeks in a local inpatient rehabilitation center before being able to go home.

Their mother, Jenni Ezell, said the boys were doing "really well." She said they're sitting up on their own, trying to coo over the trachea tubes that help them breathe and are "very interactive, very social little boys."

"They flirt with all of the girls that come in, flash smiles and wave," she said at a news conference held at the hospital before they left.

The boys are no longer being fed intravenously but continue to be fed through tubes in their abdomens. At the rehabilitation facility, the boys' parents will learn how to manage those tubes until the twins can eat on their own.

Jenni Ezell and her husband, Dave, said that while they're excited that the boys have improved enough to be discharged from the hospital, it will be emotional to leave the staff there.

"We're so grateful to you guys, and I don't even think that covers it," Dave Ezell said as some of the staff members standing behind them at the news conference wiped away tears.

Dr. Clair Schwendeman, a neonatologist, said that after their separation there wasn't enough skin to cover a portion of their stomachs, so the skin has had to grow in. He said they might need operations to get the muscle to come across the stomach since it's just skin right now.

He said that while the boys are still "a little bit fragile," he's optimistic about their future.

"They're showing signs that they've developed nicely, despite their long hospitalization," said Schwendeman. "They're doing things that are rather appropriate: Owen was pulling on Emmett's ear, and they're playing back and forth."

The boys weighed a combined 11 pounds, 15 ounces at birth. Jenni Ezell says that Owen now weighs more than 18 pounds while Emmett weighs more than 20 pounds.

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Online:

Medical City Children's Hospital, http://www.mcchildrenshospital.com

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