INDIANA, Pa. (KDKA) — Conjoined twin boys who share a heart and liver won’t be separated, according to their parents.
The surgery is too risky, and after already defying so many odds, the Indiana County family says they’re not taking any chances.
The 13-day-old twins, Garrett and Andrew Stancombe, are little miracles for their mom, Michelle Van Horne, and dad, Kody Stancombe.
Michelle was at the end of her first trimester when she found out that her twin boys were conjoined.
“It was difficult hearing. I was scared and nervous,” Michelle said.
Doctors gave the parents several worst case scenarios, ranging from still birth to the boys not making it past a few hours after delivery.
But on April 10, Garrett and Andrew – who share a heart and liver – were born healthy. They needed very little in terms of hospital care.
Four days after being born, they were given the all clear to go back to their Indiana County home, where Michelle says they’ve been sleeping through the night and eating like champs.
The boys are already acting like brothers, touching each other’s faces, and even poking one another in the eye.
It hasn’t been easy though. Changing and bathing the conjoined boys is much tougher than it was for Michelle’s first son.
Because the twins share such vital organs, separating them would likely compromise one if not both of their lives, so they’ll stay conjoined.
It’s an uncertain future.
“They could be with us here tomorrow and gone the next second. A month down they could be gone. They could turn into teenagers,” Michelle said. “We don’t know and that’s the difficulty.”
Through this journey, Michelle says she draws strength from her late mother who passed away from cancer a few years ago.
“She is with me and wouldn’t put me through something that I couldn’t handle,” she said.