In their red bow ties and baby blue birthday suits, all eyes were on Owen and Emmett Ezell. On Tuesday, the formerly conjoined twins from Grand Prairie turned one.
"They are miracles," said the twins' mother, Jenni Ezell. "I see God's blessing in them every time I look at them."
The past year has consisted of major surgeries for the boys and a constant battle with their health. It has also been an emotional roller coaster ride for their mom and dad.
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"We've cried, we've laughed. It's just been a gamut of emotions and experiences, and it's been worth it," said Jenni Ezell.
The strength of Owen and Emmett has brought their family closer together. Many came in from Arkansas, making a six-hour trip to celebrate their birthday in Grand Prairie. But getting to this point was not certain a year ago.
"We didn't even know if they were going to make it through the operation," said Dr. Tom Renard, with the Medical City Children's Hospital. "You always hope and plan for the best. But you never know. This is real exciting."
Dr. Renard was the twins' lead surgeon at Medical City Children's Hospital, where the boys were separated at the stomach. Still, a year later, Owen and Emmett need close medical attention.
But with the prayers of relatives and even strangers, the family feels able to conquer its many challenges.
"When we're going through the hard times, it's encouraging to hear people that we don't even know saying, 'We're praying for you,'" said Jenni Ezell.