Nicole McDonald had "one of the most profound moments of [her] life" on Friday, when she finally got to hold her son Jadon, who was born conjoined to his twin brother at the head. The twins were successfully separated last week during a dangerous, 27-hour surgery in NYC. After one week spent recovering from the surgery, CNN reports McDonald was finally able to hold Jadon for two hours. His brother, Anias, has had more difficulties recovering from the surgery and isn't yet ready to be held. "For over 13 months, I've dreamed of this moment," McDonald wrote on Facebook. "I looked down at Jadon's angelic face and saw him in a way I'd never seen him before."
The twins went viral, warming the hearts of millions after CNN first reported the story of their surgery. Craniopagus twins—conjoined twins fused at the head—are extremely rare; without surgery, 80% die before age two. But the surgery is no magic bullet: It's only been successfully performed 59 times. The McDonald family raised the $100,000 needed for the surgery via a GoFundMe campaign, which, as of this writing, has received almost $300,000 in donations. With the babies safely through surgery, the family is now asking anyone who feels compelled to donate to instead send funds to a separate campaign for a child who needs a kidney transplant.