Formerly Conjoined Twins Continue Recovery After Surgery

By Meredith Land
|  Thursday, Feb 20, 2014  |  Updated 10:10 AM CDT
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Owen and Emmett, now 7 months old, live in the neonatal intensive care unit at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas. In August, the boys underwent a successful separation surgery that lasted almost six hours.

Meredith Land, NBC 5 News

Owen and Emmett, now 7 months old, live in the neonatal intensive care unit at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas. In August, the boys underwent a successful separation surgery that lasted almost six hours.

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Dave and Jenni Ezell beam when they talk about their twin boys, Owen and Emmett.

The pair were born conjoined on July 17 last year, connected from the chest to the belly button and sharing a liver and intestines.

Now 7-months-old, the boys live in the neonatal intensive care unit at Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas. In August, the boys underwent a successful separation surgery that lasted almost six hours.

Their mother, Jenni Ezell, recalled her doctor telling her the news when she was 17 weeks pregnant.

"We were shocked and overwhelmed and I was even a little angry and just scared to death that they weren't going to survive," she said.

But fast forward six months, the Ezells said when they met them for the first time they were instantly in love.

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"They looked great and it was a real special moment," Dave Ezell said.

"They were beautiful," Jenni Ezell said. "It just looked like they were hugging each other and they had their hands together. They were just the sweetest, most precious babies ever, We have pictures of them holding each others hands and each others ears, they were meant to be together. They knew what it meant to be brothers at that point. 

At one month, doctors at Medical City performed a risky separation surgery.

"They called and told us they were separated and I think everyone pretty much cried," Jenni Ezell said.

There have been multiple surgeries since the twins were separated. The Ezells spend their days visiting the boys in the hospital.

"I mean, it's draining, emotionally and physically and mentally, and some days are better than others," Jenni Ezell said.

But the boys are growing, sitting up, playing and smiling.

"They make everybody that meets them, and is influenced by them, and cares about them, better, they're special that way," Dave Ezell said.

"They don't cry and they don't coo, because they have the trachea, but you can hear them laugh because they go, 'Cuh, cuh, cuh, cuh' -- it's the cutest thing," Jenni Ezell said.

The Ezells hope to take the boys home sometime in the spring.

They have two big brothers, Ethan and Liam, waiting at home. The family calls the Dallas-Fort Worth area home now.

"It's amazing the hearts that people have in the Dallas area. So supportive," Jenni Ezell said.

There are milestones ahead, but the Ezells said they are emotionally ready and soaking in every minute of this precious journey.

"I think God gets the biggest thanks in all of this. He's put us in this position, he's brought people to us and surrounded us with support. We are blessed beyond measure," Dave Ezell said.

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