"My word of the day is awesome." That was Bryan Mirabal's reaction to the surgery that successfully separated his conjoined 5-month-old boys last week, per the Florida Times-Union. The 26-year-old and his 24-year-old fiancee Michelle Brantley are celebrating the procedure on their boys, Connor and Carter, which went smoothly at a hospital in Jacksonville. The medical team seems no less thrilled: "We couldn't have asked for a better outcome," Dr. Daniel Robie tells People. "They're doing very well now." Joyful comments are flooding the "Prayers for Carter and Connor" Facebook page over the procedure, believed to be the first of its kind on the Atlantic coast of North Florida, reports First Coast News.
The couple was shocked to learn five months into pregnancy that the boys were conjoined, a condition that typically occurs in only one of every 200,000 births. Still, they were going "to have the best life possible," Brantley says she decided. "If that meant they had to be conjoined the rest of their life, then OK." The twins were born Dec. 12 sharing livers, bile ducts, and intestinal tracts, and weighed 10 pounds, 2 ounces. They had an emergency surgery the day after birth to fix a protruding intestine, then a follow-up surgery in January, but last week's 12-hour procedure was the one that separated them, Fox News reports. "They are finally [lying] on their backs for the first time," their dad says. "They finally look comfortable." (Conjoined twin girls were separated in Texas in February.)