Nicole McDonald finally held her son Jadon on Friday afternoon. At 13 months old, Jadon was surgically separated from his conjoined twin Anias. One week after the operation, this was the first time Nicole held her baby, a moment she had longed for since he was born.
Jadon and Anais were joined at the head at birth. Their separation required a 27 hour surgery performed by the world’s top craniopagus neurosurgeon, Dr. James Goodrich, and his team.
Shortly after Jadon’s breathing tube was removed, Nicole held him in her arms for two hours at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
Her husband, Christian McDonald, was not able to hold the baby after Nicole. He knew how much this moment meant to his wife and was just glad that she got to hold him.
Nicole wrote about her feelings on Facebook saying, “ For over 13 months, I’ve dreamed of this moment. I looked down at Jadon’s angelic face and saw him in a way I’d never seen him before. He whimpered for almost the whole two hours I held him because he had just been extubated, had the area under his scalp washed out and had been weaned from the good pain meds. But instead of wrapping my body around him in his bed, I wrapped my arms around him and rocked. One of the most profound moments of my life.”
Both twins underwent a touch-up procedure Wednesday to clean out incisions from the major surgery. They were both doing well after the procedure.
Anais is expected to recover more slowly than Jadon, as he had suffered breathing problems, heart problems, and seizures prior to surgery. He has experienced seizures after surgery as well, and they are being controlled with medication. Nicole and Christian still long for the moment they can hold Anais.
The family is extremely grateful for the international support they have received through social media under the trending hashtag #JadonAndAnais. Their GoFundMe page has received $280,000 in donations. They are now paying the goodwill forward and asking their supporters to donate to a friend whose child needs a kidney transplant.